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Poo-Powered Rickshaw Unveiled At The Denver Zoo
March 28, 2012 3:49 AM   Subscribe

Poo-Powered Rickshaw Unveiled At The Denver Zoo Poop. Is there anything it can't do? On Wednesday, The Denver Zoo introduced what is believed to be the world's first poo-powered motorized tuk tuk showcasing The Denver Zoo's very own patent-pending gasification technology.
posted by novenator (24 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
As long as it doesn't muffle the Tuk Tuk sounds, I'm all for this innovative technology.
posted by novenator at 3:50 AM on March 28, 2012


I don't know how I lived without the phrase 'poo-powered tuk tuk' before.
Now, I'll be saying it all the time!
posted by vacapinta at 3:56 AM on March 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


1. Does this also work with cat poop?
2. Do they accept donations of cat poop?
posted by orme at 4:03 AM on March 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Here in Japan, toilet manufacturing giant TOTO ran some ads a few months back drawing attention to some work they're involved in in this direction. The ads featured a motorcycle that sports a seat which is... a toilet. It so happens that I got a gig doing vocals for one of those commercials. Here it is.

You'll note the driver's helmet features a little stylized pile of shit on the top.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:16 AM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Poop, poop!"
posted by Segundus at 4:35 AM on March 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


this is all well and good until we hit Peak Shit.
posted by fetamelter at 4:54 AM on March 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: patent-pending gasification technology.
posted by eriko at 4:59 AM on March 28, 2012


The Tuk Tuk sounds are completely eliminated, since the thing now runs on electricity. Also no sounds were heard while it was running.

I think it's pretty neat they are able to use 90% of the zoo's waste....although how neat it is depends on how they define that. Animal poop + concession waste is all that was mentioned. How about plant waste (that isn't already fed to animals), human waste, etc?
posted by DU at 5:07 AM on March 28, 2012


Also "inventor of sustainable mechanical devices at the zoo" would be my dream job.
posted by DU at 5:11 AM on March 28, 2012


this is all well and good until we hit Peak Shit.

Congress reconvenes every year, don't they?
posted by stevis23 at 5:26 AM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now wait a minute, According to my memory (and backed up by the OED, so there), "rickshaw" is a contraction of jinrikisha (人力車) or "human powered vehicle." Calling a motor-driven vehicle, however green, a "ricksha" seems to be missing the point a bit.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:27 AM on March 28, 2012


Well, that depends on who's poo it is, doesn't it?
posted by eriko at 5:48 AM on March 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


when I was a kid I had a book with a picture of a motor vehicle powered by chicken poo. So... no, this is not the first "poo-powered vehicle."

for example, Chicken Manure Fuel
posted by rebent at 5:59 AM on March 28, 2012


It just hit me. I'm on MetaFilter making poo jokes.
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posted by eriko at 6:01 AM on March 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Rather than "ricksha," I think it should be called "the dump tuk."
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:17 AM on March 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm not if it's more embarassing that I just laughed out loud on a crowded train at the word "gasification" or that I'm admitting it. But here we are.

I've never worked at a zoo but I've got to think they're rolling in the stuff. And just think, formerly the person responsible for cleaning it up with just a shit scooper, now he's an oil man!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:18 AM on March 28, 2012


The poo-powered tuk tuk is the second prototype The Denver Zoo has put together to show off their sustainable energy system -- the first? A blender used to mix margaritas at a zoo event.

Do NOT drink the margaritas.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:19 AM on March 28, 2012


that is the shit.
posted by stormpooper at 6:21 AM on March 28, 2012


this is not the first "poo-powered vehicle."

Please identify the source for the words in quotes.
posted by DU at 6:31 AM on March 28, 2012


No denying the sniggerability of this, but the truth is that the faster we can go down this technology path, the better. There are vast untapped sources of energy in organic waste that can be used for stationary and transportation power, with massive co-benefits of harnessing it--sanitation and reducing methane emissions.
posted by oneironaut at 6:35 AM on March 28, 2012


Who runs Bartertown?
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:43 AM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, we need to get on this. Trash and shit are vital resources to any efficient society, and just through our sheer numbers we create both in absolutely mind-boggling quantities. The fact that we simply dump this stuff and forget about it is a travesty. I mean, sure in the short term dumping is easier than collecting all the useful waste, separating it out from the stuff that's not so useful, and then putting it to use either as new raw materials or as energy. It's also totally wasteful and robs us of a massive store of ever-renewing resources.

We have made some strides in terms of recycling and such but we need to get much, much better about this. Work is definitely being done, and in fact what amazes me is that the underlying technologies are all there! None of the processes involved in recycling or fermentation or gasification or incineration or whatever -- it's not as important exactly how we use this stuff so much as that we use it at all, at this stage -- are particularly cutting-edge. What is lacking is infrastructure, political will, and the cultural mindset that waste is bad and that uses should be found for the by-products of civilization.
posted by Scientist at 6:48 AM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


flapjax at midnite: "Here in Japan, toilet manufacturing giant TOTO ran some ads a few months back drawing attention to some work they're involved in in this direction. "

Seriously. What is it with Japan and toilets?

Is there any other place in the world where a company (ie. Toto) can become an industrial giant and technological innovator by just making toilets?


And, also, winning the award for designing the world's most needlessly complicated and intimidating user interface. 38 inputs. For a toilet. I'm pretty sure that my car has fewer controls.
posted by schmod at 8:01 AM on March 28, 2012


Obligatory?
posted by samsara at 8:45 AM on March 28, 2012


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