Behold, The World’s First Self-Driving Potato

June 22, 2017

3:50 pm

The future is here and it will be filled with self-driving potatoes. This week redditor Marek Baczynski unveiled how he invented the very first self-driving potato. The self-driving potato uses the energy it produces by collecting it with an energy-harvesting chip, which is then stored in a super capacitor, and once it has built up enough energy it causes the potato to move.

Based on Baczynski’s calculations, the self-driving potato takes about 15 minute intervals to charge it enough for each forward push on its first day of use, leading to about eight centimeters of movement or seven and a half meters per day. However, on the second day of use it may take as much as 30 minutes up to an hour for the potato to accumulate enough energy to move. After a week, it’ll take about eight hours for a charge, and apparently does not look all that gross.

According to Baczynski, using a pair of electrodes has resulted in 0.48mW of power per potato.

“With multiple potatoes this should scale linearly, so a bag of potatoes (20) will yeald as much as 9.6mW! That’s almost as much as a TV remote needs! A truckload would give 57W! That’s almost enough to power a laptop!”

Unfortunately Baczynski also ran into a particular problem with his initial design, the self-driving potato could only move forward in a straight line. Being the man of science that he is, he added an additional motor and control board with a custom script. This allowed the self-driving potato, now named Pontus, to move in directions based on a compass. Where did Pontus choose to eventually go? Evidentially its new found powers of motion led it to the oven. RIP Pontus.

For those interested in building your own version of Pontus, Baczynski was kind enough to part out his experiment and says that the experiment should only cost about $10. Only $10 Baczynski? You ate Pontus you monster!

Read more about crazy gadgets for your home at Tech.Co


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Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@) or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.