Building the Internet of Things is a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.
Researchers at the University of Bath have revealed a breakthrough -- cheekily dubbed "pee power" -- involving the use of urine to power electronic devices in remote locations.
You can read the details in their paper, titled "Towards effective small scale microbial fuel cells for energy generation from urine." But in a nutshell, they've figured out how to build one-inch-square fuel cells that cost a buck or two and that get their buzz from urine, which interacts with "electric" bacteria. So-called microbial fuel cells are seen as being a carbon-neutral source of power generation, and could be used to provide juice to devices such as smartphones.
While their current microbial fuel cell can generate 2 watts per cubic meter, they're looking to boost the power to get the cells at least a little closer to alternatives like hydrogen or solar-powered cells.
Dr. Mirella Di Lorenzo, lecturer in the University of Bath's Department of Chemical Engineering, said in a statement: "If we can harness the potential power of this human waste, we could revolutionise how electricity is generated."
Well, sounds like they've got a good aim.