Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have figured out how to make cockroaches into creepy-crawly batteries. Finally, living in filth can pay off by lowering your electrical bill!
The cockroach-powered biofuel cells run on hemolymph, the stuff roaches have instead of blood. They combine sugar from the hemolymph with oxygen from the air to make electricity. (The only byproduct is water.)
The resulting electrical density is really small, much smaller than a lithium battery, but more than your average non-cyborg cockroach for sure — and unlike a lithium battery, electro-roaches have legs. That means sensors could travel into dangerous or toxic areas, carried on the backs of their own mobile, nigh-indestructible power sources.
Of course, this requires making the fuel cells small enough that cockroaches can still walk and fly — research isn’t quite at that stage yet. (The cockroaches don’t seem to give a crap, though — they’ll still toddle around with their bionic encumbrances.) They also have to work out the kink where the fuel cells scurry under the refrigerator as soon as you turn them on.
How to Turn a Cockroach into a Mobile, and Kind of Gross, Fuel Cell, Discoblog.