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Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots

Check out this set of five predatory cyborg furniture by James Auger, Jimmy Loizeau and Alex Zivanovic.

Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots

There's the mousetrap coffee table. By placing crumbs on top, perhaps left there during a canape-laden soiree, mice are attracted to climb up the hole in its over size leg. When sensors detect that a mouse is standing on the trapdoor in the center, this door opens. The unfortunate critter then falls into a microbial fuel cell housed underneath, where it gets digested and converted into energy to power the table's electronic parts.

Two kinds of infestation battling it out here: conspicuous consumption and vermins. And since there might be hundreds of rats hiding behind the walls, we really shouldn't feel sorry for the rats decomposing in the table's innards.

Meanwhile, there's also the fly-paper clock, which is powered by insects captured on its flypaper roller and digested by its own microbial fuel cell.

Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots

Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots

Another one is the fly stealing objet d'art, which you could hang on that central space on your wall reserved for an LCD jumbotron or a flea market-bought watercolor. Like the rest, this, too, is powered by a microbial fuel cell, which churns up dead flies picked up from a web spun by its resident spiders.

One wonders if, rather than bringing spiders to it, you could just bring it to the spiders, at whichever corner of the house they may be. In other words, you'll have an excuse to rearrange or even refurnish your entire living room to match the relocated mobile. Domestic boredom feeding on itself.

Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots

One also wonders about trapping larger preys that intrude on the domestic sphere, like wildcats and alligators that regularly stumble into the backyard of houses abutting their home range. In such cases, one could turn swimming pools into carnivorous pitcher plants. When a coyote climbs down to drink from its shallow water, it closes its tarp cover and drains the water along with the animal down to its microbial fuel cell. While this pool provide a similar form of dark entertainment as its interior counterparts, it ensures a more basic domestic need: a bubble of habitability amid the wilderness. It'd be perfect for a jungle homestead.

As protection against the feral, augmented trees snatch avian flu-infected birds using their cyborg branches.


“This is Botanydome. Death is listening, and will take the first plant that screams.”

Outdoor Furniture

  • Mr Brown Thumb
  • January 18, 2011 at 9:51:00 PM CST
  • The mousetrap seems really cool, until you realize how creepy and nasty it is to have decomposing mice in your furniture.

  • Anonymous
  • January 23, 2011 at 3:54:00 PM CST
  • Very interesting path of renewable energy to go down. There is a definite stink-potential to factor in when a corpse is being consumed but this aside I can see this as the start of many exciting thing.

    Have you though about making a fly on the wall documentary about the production process?

    I refuse to apologise for the quality of this pun.

  • Anonymous
  • February 7, 2011 at 11:45:00 AM CST
  • how long before we start using humans instead of mice or flies?

  • Anonymous
  • February 7, 2011 at 1:01:00 PM CST
  • Quote:
    "how long before we start using humans instead of mice or flies?"


    Not soon enough.

  • Anonymous
  • February 7, 2011 at 1:02:00 PM CST
  • To Mr. Brown Thumb:

    I already have decomposing mice in my furniture.

  • Anonymous
  • February 7, 2011 at 2:30:00 PM CST
  • Quote:
    ""how long before we start using humans instead of mice or flies?"


    Not soon enough."
    About time the homeless do something productive.

  • Anonymous
  • February 7, 2011 at 2:36:00 PM CST
  • The clock and lamp are the only ones that seem to be worth anything to me. What is the purpose of the others?

  • Anonymous
  • February 7, 2011 at 6:02:00 PM CST
  • well i could always see cars that eat humans useful the next time someone cuts me off. plus theres a solution to global overpopulation right there.

  • Anonymous
  • February 7, 2011 at 10:34:00 PM CST
  • "well i could always see cars that eat humans useful the next time someone cuts me off."

    It would also do wonders for discouraging jaywalkers.

  • Anonymous
  • February 7, 2011 at 10:45:00 PM CST
  • "how long before we start using humans instead of mice or flies?"

    Sure to be a big hit with the serial killer crowd....

  • Anonymous
  • February 8, 2011 at 8:31:00 AM CST
  • I always wanted a mousetrap which encourages mice to crawl around on my coffee table. Brilliant!

  • Archer Sully
  • February 8, 2011 at 9:41:00 AM CST
  • "The clock and lamp are the only ones that seem to be worth anything to me. What is the purpose of the others?"

    What purpose do humans have?

  • Anonymous
  • February 8, 2011 at 10:29:00 AM CST
  • Seriously, just use human waste in septic systems to power your entire house. Put the unit outside underground...

  • Anonymous
  • February 8, 2011 at 10:45:00 AM CST
  • Interesting experiment however the requirement for self-sufficiency seems, in its entirety, unnecessarily morbid. I can't envision the day I would prefer to feed an autonomous robot over a living creature with whom I have far more connection.

    A clock which requires feeding is completely unreliable and therefor pointless. If such devices are to retain true self-sufficiency, the environment requires a constant infestation. Using a guaranteed power source, such as solar or radiant heat, is a far more practical method for self-sustaining devices such as this to be useful. I understand this is just an exercise, but it seems efforts could be spent on promising tech in a more useful way. In other words, this is a marketing stunt.

    I do find the technology behind using organic material to generate electricity very interesting. The first thing that I thought of was Doc Brown's DeLorean in Back to the Future Part 2. At the beginning of the movie he's using garbage to fuel the car's reactor. Showing how this tech might be used in practical applications in the future would make their morbid prototypes far more interesting. For now, this leans too far to the sensational side of absurdity.

  • Anonymous
  • February 8, 2011 at 11:25:00 AM CST
  • It's always interesting and disturbing to see what is produced by someone with both a sick mind and above-average intelligence.

    These devices are impractical. Between the disgusting odors they're likely to produce, the bio-hazard risks, stains, etc., they will probably be too much trouble even for someone fucked up enough to want mice being sliced up in their table.

    This is simply an example of sick minded behavior mixing with practical intelligence. Yet the design still isn't practical.

  • Anonymous
  • February 8, 2011 at 11:50:00 AM CST
  • So the coffee table uses the energy from the dead mice to power its own digestive properties? At least the clock tells time!

  • Virgil Disgr4ce
  • February 8, 2011 at 2:41:00 PM CST
  • OF COURSE THEY ARE IMPRACTICAL! Jesus, that's not the fucking point! What's the point of a painting?

  • Anonymous
  • February 8, 2011 at 4:20:00 PM CST
  • Personally I think such things would be better designed not to feed on insects and vermin but rather leftovers, spoiled milk, egg shells, banana peels, dead skin cells (dandruff), etc.

    Something that legitimately runs on compost.

    Or how about this? Hair. Then I'd have a more practical reminder to shave.

    But then again I guess the technology is new and all, so we may see practical applications in the future, but for now we have rodent eating tables.

  • Anonymous
  • February 8, 2011 at 10:46:00 PM CST
  • No need to kill off humans, we could stop needlessly taking up land and use corpses to power things instead.
    But yeah, still not very practical.

  • Anonymous
  • February 10, 2011 at 10:07:00 PM CST
  • how long untill we start using humans?? I think the question is how long untill the computers decide to start using humans. It is easily possible to create a computer/robot that can build/copy its self. Now the only part thats missing is making computers think for them selves which is also being worked on atm.

  • Anonymous
  • February 11, 2011 at 1:08:00 PM CST
  • If the mousetrap in the table were larger it would be useful when my in-laws visit. I'd have to use beer for bait though.

  • Anonymous
  • February 11, 2011 at 10:39:00 PM CST
  • How soon will Walmart be selling these?

  • Anonymous
  • September 1, 2011 at 10:27:00 AM CDT
  • Great science is frequently done long before real practical applications are known. OK, so it's not the General Theory of Relativity, its a demonstration of applied engineering. And the morbid crazies have us talking about a technology about which many of us were previously unaware -- they are succeeding.

    Their concept name as "entertainment" in it. Guilty pleasures -- Desperate Housewives and Carnivore Robots.

  • Anonymous
  • September 1, 2011 at 4:37:00 PM CDT
  • i agree i want the table and the clock tomorow its sooo cool imagine if the human race went all crasy like and started using their enemys to fuel their tanks and stuff :D very morbid mind speaking here

  • Anonymous
  • September 1, 2011 at 4:43:00 PM CDT
  • another thing a computer cannot genarate intelagence because we PROGRAM them now if an ai where to genarate from correct circumstances...............

  • Cullen
  • May 20, 2012 at 1:40:00 PM CDT
  • What's all of the noise about being impractical? You have mice running around in your house - feed them to the table. Seems practical to me. Have dead flies sitting in your window sills? Why not have them tell you the time instead or light up a corner of your house.

    Have a fly swatter? Like to smash living things and then throw them into the garbage where they'll likely serve no purpose? It seems like that's a little more sick and disturbing than letting your wall clock consume the fly instead.

    As far as the technology goes, could it be adapted such that one could pump human fat into it? American obesity is rampant - heck, let's end our dependance on fossil fuels and start plugging folks from fat camps into these bad boys. I wouldn't mind plugging these things into my waist line to power my cell phone.

  • Anonymous
  • July 9, 2012 at 10:51:00 AM CDT
  • If something died, you might as well do something with the body besides decomposing in the ground, and if you shoot some guy you have power for like a year!

  • Anonymous
  • July 9, 2012 at 11:03:00 AM CDT
  • make it 20 times larger, hook it up to a car, so everything on the road is fare game, low on gas? there's a jay walker, blam, fuel for a week!

  • Anonymous
  • June 8, 2015 at 5:38:00 AM CDT
  • SOOO COOL! I can't wait till these become even more self-sufficient and I can have them in my house!

  • Anonymous
  • June 8, 2015 at 5:45:00 AM CDT
  • Where can I buy one?!

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