The MudWatt is a great new science toy for kids and kids at heart (that means us) currently being funded on KickStarter. Using MudWatt you can generate a small amount of electricity to power a couple LEDs, a buzzer, a clock or anything else you can think of. The secret ingredient is mud (yes that stuff you cant find almost everywhere especially your garden).
This is possible thanks to little micro-organisms or “microbes” (not visible to the naked eye) one-tenth the thickness of a human hair that live throughout almost all soil and sediment on the earth and run mini hamster wheels. No just kidding. One species of these microbes releases electrons while eating up nutrients in the mud which is then harnessed through MudWatt.
The MudWatt will bring back childhood memories from the lemon or potato battery days for adults whilst being an excellent educational as well as fun science tool for kids. The MudWatt has been designed to teach science through inquiry based investigation. This means that kids develop questions in their mind first like what soil would generate the most power or what do microbes like to eat, and then answer them through their own investigation. This is proven to be a much more effective way of learning than simply cramming information. Coupled with the new comic, MudWatt is even more entertaining.
The MudWatt was created by Keegan Cooke and Kevin Rand. Keegan had the idea while he was a research scientist studying microbial fuel cell technology at a small start-up in Boston.
There they were developing devices that would go down to the bottom of the ocean and power sensor packages for Naval or scientific applications. It turns out there are sensors at the bottom of the ocean that the Navy or scientists use and they run on D-cell batteries. D-cell batteries are super cheap and you can get them almost anywhere, But it takes about a half a million dollars to replace those batteries (have to hire a ship, crew, equipment). So their system was meant to power these sensors for a really really long time (many centuries, or whenever the sensors failed).
Standard Kit ($39.95 – USD) Includes:
- 1 MudWatt™ ANODE
- 1 MudWatt™ CATHODE
- 1 MudWatt™ VESSEL
- 1 MudWatt™ HACKER PACK
- MudWatt Explorer App (available on iTunes and Google Play)
- 1 Educational/Instruction Booklet
- 1 Pair of Black Nitrile Gloves
We cant wait to get out hands dirty (both literary and figuratively)! We’ll provide updates and a detailed review once we get ours.