Kit that transforms untapped energy found from bacteria tucked away in the soil into small amounts of electricity.
The Explore App can be used to measure the speed of the blinking LED light. The blinking speed will indicate the growth rate of the bacteria. As the number grows, a comic book in the app will unlock, explaining the process in a narrative format.
Kit includes: Container, anode, cathode, hacker pack, pair of black nitrile gloves, MudWatt Explorer App (available from iTunes and Google Play), and 20-page booklet.
Please watch the videos above, as they really help illustrate how cool this toy is!
Use this kit as a means to channel curiosity and a starting point for exploration into the study of energy science.
A wonderful demonstration of how an already existing process can be harnessed to power our future needs. Great for getting kids interested in the natural world and energy production.
Virtually any dirt will do. The instructions point out that dirt with vermiculite won’t work as well, so don’t use potting soil. Other than that, really, any dirt. The more organic material (dead leaves, compost, etc.), the faster the growth, so those who have more clay heavy soil can expect to see a slightly longer period before the light starts blinking.
The mud will smell exactly like what you’d think a cup full of fungus and bacteria would smell like. Fortunately, the lid secures the stink. Unfortunately, the bacteria must occasionally be fed, which requires removing the lid. This may not bother most people, but for those graced with a sensitive schnoz, a ventilated place may be best for feeding time.
Part of the fun is figuring out what foods work best to get the bacterial growth rate up. Ketchup? It’s got plenty of sugar. Gatorade? Another good option. We strongly suggest not using dairy. It’ll smell so, so bad when that lid needs to be opened again. Ditto with potatoes and rice water. So awful.
Placing the container in a warm place will help the growth rate. Setting the container in a bowl of warm, not hot, water will help with this.
Used in homes, classrooms, and even for college students, this interactive product gives that warm, fuzzy feeling of satisfaction, even though it’s really the bacteria doing all the work.
We feel this toy promotes prosocial thinking. Not only does taking care of a living substance require actively thinking what is best for said life, but sustainability studies have a very strong undercurrent of striving to improve the living quality of people all over the world. Toys that can engage children in thinking about the welfare of others will typically get a high Social score from us.
- The microbes will need occasional feedings and constant moisture to keep producing power. If the mud dries out, just add some water. The power should be restored overnight if not much sooner.
Parts and Pieces
Everything needed comes in the kit. Just add dirt. And water.
We don’t really have any concerns about this product. We think it’s really neat, and hope you do, too.