Galleons, when you think about building robots, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? An obedient household helper? An ass-kicking bodyguard? A sex slave?
Whatever your answer, I’m willing to bet it wasn’t “a robot that shits”.
Leave it to Canada.
That’s right- Canadian researchers have created a ‘robogut’ to make synthetic feces. For fecal transplants.
Yeah, it’s a thing.
Fecal transplants are a bizarre (yet promising) method of treating some dangerous intestinal bacteria. Like Clostridium difficile, which is responsible for an estimated 14,000 American deaths every year. Essentially, you take healthy bacteria from a fecal donor and transplant it in the sick patient. And voilà! That shit (get it?!) cures you.
It’s not a pretty procedure. There’s this whole bit about putting the fecal sample in a blender and we’re just not going to go into it, okay?
Anyway, even though the donor poo is full of good bacteria to punch the bad bacteria in whatever-the-bacteria-equivalent-of-a-dickhole-is, there is a risk that dangerous pathogens can be transmitted from donor to recipient. So, Emma Allen-Vercoe and her crack (totally unintentional pun) group of Canadian science-types have been trying to synthesize feces, tailoring the microbes in the lab-made poo to each individual recipient.
Unfortunately, it turns out fecal microbes don’t grow well in petri dishes. And so, the team had to make a special ‘robogut’ to grow their dirty little microbes in.
It gets better.
What do you think Allen-Vercoe’s team calls their lab-grown poo?