A robot that can remove plastic particles from its environment and use it to generate electricity has been developed by scientists at the University of California, San Diego.
The device, developed by researchers at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC San Diego and the University at Buffalo, uses a transducing microprocessor, which uses the data from a computer to generate an image of the environment that can then be used to generate a signal for the robot to follow.
“We are essentially creating a kind of a natural light sensor, which is a very good way to have natural lighting around,” said Juho Hägglund, a postdoctoral researcher in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
“When you want to capture light, the most efficient way to do that is with light sensors.
But if you want light to be reflected, you need a natural reflector.”
Hägg Lund, the senior author of the paper, and his collaborators at UCSC have also developed a way to turn light into electricity by capturing light in a transparent material and transmitting it through a microprocessor to generate heat.
The team is now working on creating a similar device that can be controlled remotely by a computer, and they expect it to be commercially available in the next five years.
The research was presented last month at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Zurich.
It was funded by the U