The World Bank estimates that 3.5 million tons of solid waste is produced by humans everyday, with America accounting for more than 250 million tons a year or over 4 pounds of trash per citizen. To the fictional Dr. Emmett Brown, this garbage is akin to “black gold” – ecologically powering cities, cars, and machines. In reality, the movie, “Back to The Future II” was inspired by the biomass gasification movement of 20th century in powering cars with wood during World War II when petroleum was scarce. Professor Loannis Leropoulos of the University of Bristol’s Robotics Laboratory is working on the next generation of bio-engineered fuel cells. Last week, Dr. Leropoulos demonstrated his revolutionary Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) for me. As witnessed, he is not just inspired by nature, but harnessing its beauty to power the next generation of robots.