Home › magazine › latest news › Limbo: the dirt powered robot vacuum cleaner
Limbo: the dirt-powered robot vacuum cleaner13th of May 2013
A robot cleaner that uses power generated by the dirt it is there to remove was demonstrated at a recent exhibition in Chicago.
The Limbo vacuum cleaner powers itself by generating electricity from degraded organic matter - or in other words, dirt.
The Limbo was unveiled by housewares firm Casabella to mark the company's 25th anniversary. It uses a process known as microbial electrolysis to generate power from the bacteria it sucks up. The bacteria consumes sugar which causes the bacteria to release electrons and protons which are then captured and used to power the cleaner.
Besides powering itself, the robot can also climb stairs. The wheels can be adjusted according to the task to allow it to mount stairs and clean close to walls. Many of today's robot vacuum cleaners can already detect staircases to prevent falls, but few can actually climb them.
The Limbo, which was displayed at the 2013 International Housewares Show in Chicago, was created by industrial designer Elliot Cohen.
"The robot is a concept to inspire and push the limits of design and engineering for the future," says Cohen.
The Limbo requires no charging station which means there is no need for it to navigate its way back to a base, which can prove challenging for some robot vacs.