Dirty house? Clean it up with this trash-powered robot

© Casabella/Tuvie

Messy roommates. Sloppy husbands. Frat boys with no apparent sense of smell or decency. For all our centuries of civilization, humans can be found living in some highly unsanitary environments of our own free will. During college I lived (happily) in at least one structure that should have been condemned.

We've all dreamed of a self-cleaning house, but until that innovation arrives, Casabella has the next best thing. In celebration of its 25th, the company debuted Limbo, a house cleaning robot, at the International Housewares Show 2013, Chicago. But don't dismiss this gadget as just another Roomba. This robot draws power from the very refuse it's designed to scoop up.

The brainchild of designer, Elliot Cohen this tank-like carpet crawler does more than vanquish dust bunnies...way more. You won't find long cords or a heavy battery weighing Limbo down, no sir. Instead the robot uses a process called Microbial Electrolysis to generate its own power.

"The robot vacuums up waste, then harnesses the energy within the bacteria to power itself. So in short, the robot is completely sustainable by utilizing power derived from the matter it 'consumes' or vacuums up," reports Tuvie.

© Casabella/Tuvie

Using wheels that resemble honeycomb rather than donuts, the Limbo climbs up and down stairs and over any obstacle in its way. The unique shape of cells within the wheel allow it to collapse or expand depending on the type of terrain or obstacle. It also sports a front-mounted camera and sensor array, and twin headlights.

Dirty and junk unlucky enough to be in its path is sucked up into a watery "composting bin" where the microbes eat it for lunch (literally) and turn it into energy to fuel Limbo's never-ending search and destroy mission.

Tags: Concepts & Prototypes | Gadgets | Technology