Luigi is a new prototype robot from MIT designed to go where humans would rather not - into the sewers for fecal samples.
(Luigi The Sewer Inspection Robot From MIT video)
By sampling and interpreting human waste, scientists can monitor urban health patterns, as well as monitor diabetes, analyze drug usage, and identify antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
"We all flush valuable health data down the toilet," explains Eric Alm, co-principal investigator of Underworlds and director of the Alm Lab. "Sewers represent a unique opportunity where health data from everybody in a community is pooled together."
The biomarkers in human waste can also provide insight into infectious diseases -- such as new flu strains -- eventually enabling scientists to anticipate and mitigate outbreaks...
Measuring 3 feet long and 3 inches in diameter, Luigi comes equipped with a motor, pump and and filter.
The Luigi sewer inspection robot from MIT might just be the remote ancestor of the duct-diving robotic Sentinel of the Matrix movies. In the movies, the Sentinels restlessly search the ductwork underlying the Matrix infrastructure, searching for unwanted elements skulking therein (Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, et al).