10 Awesome New Inventions You'll Never Hear About

Robot That Devours Insects and Rodents
An old-fashioned mouse trap
An old-fashioned mouse trap
Joe Fox/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

At this point, robotic vacuum sweepers, singing androids and mechanical dogs are old hat. But British inventors Jimmy Loizeau and James Auger have made a quantum leap with the Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robot, an automaton that would stalk and devour mice and insects, and then eat them and digest their bodies to produce its own power.

They've come up with five different concepts, including the mousetrap coffee table robot, which is designed to lure unwary vermin onto its surface, which contains a trap door triggered by motion sensors. Rodent victims trapped by the device would be chemically dismantled and fed to a microbial fuel cell. A light on the side of the device would inform the owner of how much energy is being produced by the auto-extermination. Other configurations include the Lampshade Robot, which would lure flies and moths to their doom, a Cobweb Robot that would trick spiders into weaving webs and then extract and feed them into its fuel cell, and the Flypaper Robotic Clock [source: Scott].

Right now these robots are still just concepts, which you might say is good thing: Realistically, who wants to watch their coffee table devour a mouse?

Related Articles


  • "Armstar Bodyguard 9xi Hd01." Inventionreaction.com. Dec. 26, 2011. (Jan. 24, 2012) http://www.inventionreaction.com/new-inventions/Armstar-Bodyguard-9xi-Hd01#.Tx9HjzEgcSJ
  • "The BodyGuard 9XI-HD01." Armstar.net. (Jan. 24, 2012) http://www.armstar.net/pdfs/Bodyguard%209XI%20-%20Spec%20Sheet.pdf
  • Bonderud, Doug. "Want To Save Paper? The P&P Office Waste Processor Will Pencil You In." InventorSpot. (Dec. 23, 2010) http://inventorspot.com/articles/want_save_paper_pp_office_waste_processor_will_pencil_you
  • "Condom with inflatable portion." USPTO. May 24, 2005. (Jan. 24, 2012) http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6895967.PN.&OS=PN/6895967&RS=PN/6895967
  • Dillow, Clay. "DARPA Wants to Install Transcranial Ultrasonic Mind Control Devices in Soldiers' Helmets." Popular Science. Sept. 9, 2010. (Dec. 23, 2010) http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-09/darpa-wants-mind-control-keep-soldiers-sharp-smart-and-safe
  • "Kissing Shield." Free Patents Online. (Jan, 24, 2012) http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5727565.html
  • "Kissing Shield Game and Method." USPTO. Sept. 19, 2004. (Jan. 24, 2012) http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6789799.pdf
  • Leavitt, Lydia. "Spawned from DNA, Mercedes-Benz BIOME concept car to grow in lab." TG Daily. Dec. 1, 2010. (Dec. 23, 2010) http://www.tgdaily.com/sustainability-features/52816-spawned-from-dna-mercedes-benz-biome-concept-car-to-grow-in-lab
  • "The License Plate Flipper." Plateflipper.com. (Jan, 24, 2012) http://www.plateflipper.com/
  • Lockheed Martin Products. "Nano Air Vehicle." Lockheed Martin. (Dec. 23, 2010) http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/nano-air-vehicle.html
  • Marks, Paul. "UK keeps three times as many patents secret as the US." New Scientist. March 23, 2010. (Dec. 23, 2010) http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18691-uk-keeps-three-times-as-many-patents-secret-as-the-us.html
  • Miller, Ross. "PrePeat rewritable printer lets you undo print jobs, no ink or toner used." Engadget. Feb. 9, 2010. (Dec. 23, 2010) http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/09/prepeat-rewritable-printer-lets-you-undo-print-jobs-no-ink-or-t/
  • Murp, Darren. "Mercedes-Benz BIOME concept car grows in a nursery, on sale now in Zion." Engadget. Dec. 3, 2010. (Dec. 23, 2010) http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/03/mercedes-benz-biome-concept-car-grows-in-a-nursery-on-sale-now/
  • Sanwa Newtec Product List. "RP-3100 PrePeat Rewritable Printer." Sanwa Newtec. (Dec. 23, 2010) http://www.sanwa-newtec.co.jp/english/products/rp_rp_3100_e.html
  • Scott, Katie. "Robot designed to power itself by eating mice." Wired.co.uk. Jan. 27, 2010. (Jan. 24, 2011) http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-01/27/robot-designed-to-power-itself-by-eating-mice
  • "U.S. Patent Number: 7,221,552: Wearable shield and self-defense device." Justia.com. May 22, 2007. (Jan. 24, 2012) http://patents.justia.com/2007/07221552.html
  • "U.S. Patent Statistics Chart Calendar Years 1963 – 2010." USPTO. Sept. 7, 2011. (Jan. 24, 2012) http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/us_stat.htm
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling. "Waste Facts and Figures." Clean Air Council. (Dec. 23, 2010) http://www.cleanair.org/Waste/wasteFacts.html
  • Weinberger, Sharon. "What Kind Of Top-Secret Assassination Tech Does $58 Billion Buy?" Popular Science. Sept. 9, 2010. (Dec. 23, 2010) http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-08/anyone-anywhere-anytime
  • Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). "Electronic Reusable Paper." (Dec. 23, 2010) http://www2.parc.com/hsl/projects/gyricon/


Fantastic, Freaky and Futuristic: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Fantastic, Freaky and Futuristic: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

The best stories of the week from HowStuffWorks.

More to Explore