Is furniture animal, vegetable, or mineral? For designers James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau, who are also researchers at the Royal Academy of Art in London, it's a little of all three. The duo gleaned inspiration from venus flytraps and pitcher plants to create lamps, tables, and clocks that are powered by "digesting" household pests like flies and rodents. Insect to energy—who would've thought? At the core of the design is Microbial Fuel Cell technology, a chemical process that breaks down organic matter into energy. Their experimental concept is unique—albeit a bit disconcerting—and touches on a variety of issues: how design can be used to make unconventional ideas more palatable, how to tap into unconventional energy sources, and how new technology can fit into our daily lives. We welcome robots to vacuum our floors and act as pets—the Roomba and Sony's AIBO come to mind—but what about catching pests? Here's a video of Auger and Loizeau explaining their "Domestic Entertainment Robots."
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