London: A robot who answers nature`s call! In another leap forward in android technology, researchers have created a robot that not only talks, walks and speaks like humans but also has to visit the toilet.
A British research team has created a robot which uses organic matter for fuel, then `excretes` the waste.
They claim it could be the first step on the way to a new generation of "eco bots" that may even need their own toilets or share those available for humans.
Another theory is that they could actually be toilets themselves, and use human waste for power.
Such a scenario has until now been the stuff of science fiction, the time-travelling Delorean in Back to the Future Part 2 was famously powered by waste food.
The discovery was made by the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL), part of the University of Bristol in the UK, the Daily Mail reported.
The first prototype had a microbe-powered fuel cell that ran off E coli bacteria which fed off refined sugar.
The second model tried using sludge microbes to break down rotten food.
Both of these had a hitch, however, that they had no way of getting rid of their waste, meaning they became poisoned.
Step forward prototype three, dubbed "Ecobot-III" which BRL roboticist, Ioannis Ieropoulos said "collects its own food and water from the environment."
Ecobot III can`t find itself a sandwich, of course, it picks up its sugary food from a track within its Bristol laboratory.
"It performs the task we design it to do, and at the end of the day, it gets rid of its own waste. It literally craps into its own `litter` tray," Ieropoulos said.
"Robots that eat biological fuels could find enough fuel almost anywhere. There is organic matter anywhere on Earth, leaves and soil in the forest, or even human waste such as urine and feces," John Greenman, a microbiologist at the BRL added.
The researchers have already received enquiries from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and NASA which could put them on missions to Mars to keep astronauts company.