EcoBot-II, developed in 2004, by Melhuish, Greenman, Ieropoulos and Horsfield at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) UK, was the first robot in the world to perform sensing, information processing, communication and actuation phototaxis, by utilising unrefined biomass. In fact, it consumed dead flies, rotten fruits and crustacean shells as the fuel and oxygen from free air as the cathode. EcoBot-II operated continuously for 12 days after having been fed with 8 houseflies of the species Musca domestica [Ieropoulos et al. 2005a, b; Melhuish et al. 2006].

EcoBot-II is the first practical example of a Symbot (symbiotic robot) that exhibited artificial symbiosis– the beneficial integration between the live microbial part and the artificial mechatronic part.

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