Technology is often touted as the solution to a host of problems, not least our over reliance on fossil fuels and the spectre of global warming. But what will it be like to live with the emergent technologies that are being devised to combat these threats? It seems the proposed solutions, and especially the more experimental and thus speculative, have the potential to alter our relationships with technology (sometimes radically). Take, for example, some of the efforts to rethink the production and consumption of power. Not only do these move us away from consuming oil, coal, gas and the like. They also allude to machines that will operate at a very different pace and rhythm because of their energy production cycles.
In the theme BioFuels and Growing Devices, we reflect on energy autonomous devices by looking at Microbial Fuels Cells technology.

           
       
       
     
    BioFuels & Growing Objects  
RFID & Body Readers  
  Machines & Sensors  
  Conclusions  
  Publications & Exhibitions  
People Involved  
Links & References  
   
When contained in a fuel cell and fed with metabolized sugar, a micro-organism, rhodoferax ferrireducens, produces an electrical current. The current is produced as the electrons freed in the process accumulate on an electrode in the fuel cell. Based on this principle, we have designed a series of power-generating objects made of sugar. This figure shows one of the sugar objects, a lamp, being used to power a light bulb. We are currently developing the prototypes and more images and videos shall be uploaded shortly.
 

This large-scale radio is a design for a conceptual appliance. The radio contains several microbial fuel cells that generate an electrical charge to power the appliance. The radio is large so as to incorporate the required cells to produce a sufficient charge. The funnel at the top of the radio is used for feeding the cells’ microbes with rotten food, insects and most other forms of naturally occurring organic material. More images and videos coming soon...