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EvoBot: Towards a robot-chemostat for culturing and maintaining Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs)

Theodosiou, Pavlina; Faina, Andres; Nejatimoharrami, Farzad; Stoy, Kasper; Greenman, John; Melhuish, Chris; Ieropoulos, Ioannis


Pavlina Theodosiou

Andres Faina

Farzad Nejatimoharrami

Kasper Stoy

Chris Melhuish
Professor of Robotics & Autonomous Systems

Yannis Ieropoulos
Professor in Bioenergy & Director of B-B


Michael Mangan

Mark Cutkosky

Anna Mura

Paul F.M.J. Verschure

Tony Prescott

Nathan Lepora


In this paper we present EvoBot, a RepRap open-source 3D-printer modified to operate like a robot for culturing and maintaining Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). EvoBot is a modular liquid handling robot that has been adapted to host MFCs in its experimental layer, gather data from the MFCs and react on the set thresholds based on a feedback loop. This type of robot-MFC interaction, based on the feedback loop mechanism, will enable us to study further the adaptability and stability of these systems. To date, EvoBot has automated the nurturing process of MFCs with the aim of controlling liquid delivery, which is akin to a chemostat. The chemostat is a well-known microbiology method for culturing bacterial cells under controlled conditions with continuous nutrient supply. EvoBot is perhaps the first pioneering attempt at functionalizing the 3D printing technology by combining it with the chemostat methods. In this paper, we will explore the experiments that EvoBot has carried out so far and how the platform has been optimised over the past two years.


Theodosiou, P., Faina, A., Nejatimoharrami, F., Stoy, K., Greenman, J., Melhuish, C., & Ieropoulos, I. (2017). EvoBot: Towards a robot-chemostat for culturing and maintaining Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). In N. Lepora, T. Prescott, P. F. Verschure, A. Mura, M. Cutkosky, & M. Mangan (Eds.), Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems. , (453-464).

Conference Name 6th International Conference, Living Machines 2017
Conference Location Stanford, CA, USA
Start Date Jul 26, 2017
End Date Jul 28, 2017
Online Publication Date Jul 16, 2017
Publication Date Jul 16, 2017
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 453-464
Series Title Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Series ISSN 0302-9743
Book Title Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems
ISBN 9783319635361
Keywords EvoBot, Microbial Fuel Cells, 3D-printer, cathode, rep-rap
Public URL
Publisher URL