The development of this prototype is part of the evolution of bio-machines previously built by artist Ivan Henriques (°1978, Brazil), which are hybrid forms between living organisms and machines creating an evolutionary vector between machines and nature. In collaboration with the scientists of LabMET, Faculty of Bio-Engineering at the University of Ghent, Henriques developed a floating mobile robot-structure which harvests and stores it’s energy from Microbial Fuel Cells. Microbial Fuel Cells, or MFC’s, are devices that use bacteria in waste water as the catalyst to oxidise organic matter and generate electricity. The energy harvested from the MFC’s is applied to move the robotic structure and at the same time to clean the polluted environment with the help of water-purifying plants integrated in the structure. This project reflects on the relationship between the environment and sustainability, and the increasing pollution of rivers, bays and ponds around the globe.
The prototype will be exhibited at the exhibition Water.War at the Budafabriek, Kortrijk (12.03 – 26.06.2016).
He is an artist working in multimedia installations examining living systems. He explores in his works hybrids of nature and (technological) culture creating new forms of communication between humans and other living organisms. He considers nature as inspiration and a necessary factor in the development of the world.
Ivan Henriques, Dr. Prof. Ir. Korneel Rabaey, Dr. Ramon Ganígue, Dr. Jan B.A. Arends, Way Cern Khor & Xu Zhang
LabMET, UGent, R2T consortium, Budafabriek
Faculteit Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen UGent, Coupure Links, Gent, België