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Designers Create Meat Eating Furniture 120

Posted by samzenpus
from the eating-the-couch-potato dept.
Sonny Yatsen writes "NPR's Robert Krulwich explores the work of several designers who are working on carnivorous furniture. These creations, include a clock that feeds on dead flies, and a table that lures mice into a guillotined death. 'We want robots to be able to get their own energy from the environment,' says co-designer Prof. Melhuish. Let's hope they come up with a lounge chair that eats cockroaches sometime soon."

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Designers Create Meat Eating Furniture

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  • This is one idea that literally does have a chance of biting you on the ass.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I need an office chair made out of this stuff to give to my boss for a present. Just don't include any warning labels or instruction manuals with it, please.

      • I'm sorry you have the sort of boss who would look at chair warning labels before sitting or might even go so far as to read the manual for said office chair.
      • by daem0n1x (748565)
        If he's a real boss, he won't even look at the manual. He wouldn't understand it, anyway.
    • Perfect for those who live above a Chinese restaurant.
  • by somersault (912633) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @10:18AM (#35137220) Homepage Journal

    "combined with a form of fusion, the machines would have all the power they would ever need"

  • "We want robots to be able to get their own energy from the environment."

    so The Matrix was started by furniture designers?

  • What about a bed that eats bed bugs?

    Maybe then we would not have to put quarters in for the magic fingers.

    • What about a bed that eats bed bugs?

      Already "invented", it's called washing your goddamn sheets / replacing your 20 year old mattress / NOT making your bed right after getting up [chronic-illness.org]

      • by FrozenFOXX (1048276) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:19PM (#35139774)

        What about a bed that eats bed bugs?

        Already "invented", it's called washing your goddamn sheets / replacing your 20 year old mattress / NOT making your bed right after getting up [chronic-illness.org]

        Dunno about that last one but I strongly doubt you have any experience with bed bugs if you think the prior two have anything to do with them. You seriously cannot do a single google search for bed bug causes [google.com] without pulling up several hundred citations but here's a few highlights:

        • Dirt does not cause bedbugs.
        • Age of mattress does not cause bedbugs
        • Dirty clothing does not cause bedbugs
        • An astonishing number of things DO NOT CAUSE BEDBUGS

        As a corollary, some of the following ARE of interest relating to bed bugs:

        • Cluttered houses make them harder to get rid of, but do not cause them
        • You cannot leave traps for them as they feed on blood (unless you fill yourself with Clorox I suppose, though you'd have bigger problems)
        • They can survive for a good 14 months or so without feeding
        • They can survive extreme cold (think freezer) for days without issue
        • They can survive extreme heat almost without issue
        • Changing sheets/destroying mattresses/other have WORSE effects since you only end up spreading them
        • They're small enough to live in your freakin electrical outlets, computer case, under your desk at work
        • The only way to kill the bastards is a complex, multi-front, all-out ASSAULT involving quarantine, chemicals, and a shitload of other invasive stuff
        • Even after you *think* you've got it contained, they could just be resting for a few months or so (maybe a year, even) to start up all over again. God help you if you made the mistake of having carpet.

        Seriously, they're an unholy nightmare, plain and simple, and telling someone, "wash your goddamn sheets," is downright insulting to anyone that's actually had to deal with these bastards.

        • by MattSausage (940218) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:51PM (#35140212)
          Actually heat is the one way pest control companies say you can be certain to be rid of them. They cannot live above a temperature of 100F or so. So in many cases they literally hook giant fans up to the windows and pump your house up to 120 or so for 24 - 48 hours to heat up everything in there, and you can rest assured any bedbugs in the building at that time are dead as doornails.
        • by Ihmhi (1206036)

          Amen brother. Little bastards ruined my vacation a few years ago. I stopped counting at 150 bites on my arms, legs, and neck.

        • by Doug Neal (195160)

          An astonishing number of things DO NOT CAUSE BEDBUGS

          Some studies have shown that bed bugs are the number one cause of bed bugs.

        • Well thank you sir, I just got an education right there. I'm sorry if my comment came off as insulting in your opinion, I was just feeling cheeky when I wrote it.

  • what if I want my furniture to be vegan?
    • by SharpFang (651121)
      I don't know... all the furniture I use seems to be breatharian. Somehow I never thought I ever need to power up my table.
      • Somehow I never thought I ever need to power up my table.

        Then perhaps you need to upgrade your table to a Microsoft Surface, the successor to cocktail arcade cabinets.

    • by magarity (164372)

      Vegans are way to picky. I just want a sofa that eats cracker crumbs and drinks grape juice. It's not often the kids spill a steak on it.

      • Amen, brother. I'd hate to have to fight my sofa for a cut of meat.
      • by DinDaddy (1168147)

        Indeed, then they'll start demanding toflies, like the tofurkeys and tofu dogs human vegans seem to want.

        Never understood why, if you object to eating meat, you form your veggies into meat-like products. I don't make carrot shapes out of my ground beef.

        • Never understood why, if you object to eating meat, you form your veggies into meat-like products. I don't make carrot shapes out of my ground beef.

          I'm a vegetarian, mostly vegan (some eggs and dairy) and I'll tell you why.

          Meat is delicious. It's an great source of protein, fats, and nutrients. People like meat, and vegetarians and vegans are, in fact, still people. I spend a lot of time on my diet working out what to eat and eating healthy choices. I don't eat salad and granola three meals a day. As the saying goes, "You can't get full on salad!" That's totally true, and no real vegetarian or vegan would eat just salad because you'd get really s

        • by Jeremi (14640)

          Never understood why, if you object to eating meat, you form your veggies into meat-like products. I don't make carrot shapes out of my ground beef.

          But you can still eat real carrots whenever you want to, so your situation isn't equivalent...

  • by NiteShaed (315799) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @10:25AM (#35137292)

    Dad: "Honey, where are the kids?"
    Mom: "They're playing by the couch"
    Couch: "Burp"

    • Oh, I see. I hadn't correctly divined your attitude towards your children. You see I mainly design slaughter houses. Yes, pity. Mind you, this is a real beaut. I mean, none of your blood caked on the walls and flesh flying out of the windows, inconveniencing the passers-by with this one. I mean, my life has been building up to this.

  • Excrement (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arisvega (1414195) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @10:25AM (#35137296)
    Does the furniture also crap?
    • It's got to either crap or have really bad gas. It's hard to use everything in a fly for anything but being a fly but you could burn the leftovers.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Right - because then we'd have fly ash!

        • Depends on how you "burn" them. You might just have ionized gas particles (plasma) bearing a suggestively flyish spectral emission spectra. Or if you really "burn" them you could be left with a few subatomic particles and interesting curvy trails on the back side of your couch from anti-matter decay.
          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            Depends on how you "burn" them. You might just have ionized gas particles (plasma) bearing a suggestively flyish spectral emission spectra. Or if you really "burn" them you could be left with a few subatomic particles and interesting curvy trails on the back side of your couch from anti-matter decay.

            I think around the furniture folks, that could be what's considered "artistic" and "designer", thus raising the price of your sofa by 10x!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Would you rather have to kill a mouse in your house, or swat that fly, or would you rather just have to clean up couch and table feces??
      Answers seems obvious to me :)

       

    • Boy: "Mooooom! The couch crapped all over the carpet again!"

      Mom: "It's okay, Timmy. Our carpet is coprophage."

  • Not so long ago, there were these rubbers and plastic army men and Rubber Dog poop that did the opposite .
        They Ate the Furniture ,They took the finish right off down to and beyond the bare wood

  • The coffee table eats mice to power itself.

    But what does it need power for? It's pretty much a coffee table without the energy the mouse will provide!

  • I would think solar power would work better and be more readily available.

    Is there a reason for it not being as considered as one would think? Is it too expensive? Technical problems? Or is it being increasingly used in robotics?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    first, why does a table need energy? does it get tired of sitting there in the living room all day?
    second, before you go designing meat eating furniture, don't forget that as humans we too are meat.

    • Maybe it's an occasional table.
    • by Seumas (6865)

      Don't worry, the fact that the story is completely fucking stupid won't keep our tax-supported "national-treasure" from wasting an hour reporting on it in a near whisper-voice that puts you to sleep.

  • by RNLockwood (224353) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @10:33AM (#35137426) Homepage

    "Hey, see my new high tech chair? It gets its energy from eating cockroaches. (Wonder what it does with the energy?) Hmm, in order to stay alive it will need a continual supply of cockroaches so I'll need to make sure that my dwelling stays infested; but if it gets them all perhaps I can buy crickets at the pet store. This should bump up my value as a prospective mate a lot and help to get me laid. At the very least it will be great to sit in and watch Fox News."

  • I don't know about a mouse-easting coffee-table or fly-eating clock, but why couldn't we retro-fit our houses with similar devices placed around that gather mice, bats, flies, expired pets, grandma, etc., and store the energy to be used in common household items? Similar to the solar panels on the roof, they'd store energy for use to reduce the amount needed from the grid.
    • by ddd0004 (1984672)
      So what you are proposing is some sort of carrion battery and then this carrion battery being used as maybe an ottoman or a mattress. This sounds like a great idea except for all the people who have tried this sort of thing before have been labeled as "crazy" or "serial killer", but once you get past that it should be smooth sailing.
      • More like devices hidden or out of the way, like the water heater or furnace. They would be accessible for repair but basically working in the background. I don't see the need to incorporate them into everyday living other than to use the power they'd provide by consuming some unlucky "organic power source".
        • I could see uses for things like a bugzapper lamp that "eats" the bugs to offset part of it's own power consumption (maybe all? how efficient are these insect-powered cells?).

          I could also see uses for a mousetrap powered by digesting it's previous meal and storing it in a battery. Preferably one with less passive energy use than the ones we already use (y'know cats?), so it can lay in wait longer between meals. Something about a mousetrap that feeds on the lives of mice to power killing more mice amuses m

    • The amount of energy you'd get out of such a scheme would be ridiculously low, much lower than the energy needed to build the equipment. You'd be better off generating energy from biogas produced by effluent and dumping expired pets in the septic tank.

      • by nschubach (922175)

        Just when I was wondering what I was going to do with all the stray cats in the neighborhood...

    • Ok, I'll bite. How many grandmas does it take to power a house for a year? How many monthe worth can you store, before the neighbors start asking questions? Should you bother feeding them, or is it more economical not to?

  • How about a vegetarian line, for their New Age clientele?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      How about a vegetarian line, for their New Age clientele?

      You idea might produce a lot more power, since vegetarians are considerably larger than mice. Just use tofu instead of cheese to attract them into the blades.

  • There is a moderately obscure(and deservedly, it isn't all that good) 1977 horror film on this very subject.

    "Death Bed: The Bed that Eats"
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What does a coffee table need energy FOR?! It looks like such HARD work to sit there all day in front of the tv.

    That's right stay at home mom, you heard it here first: Coffee table does your job for the cost of a few mice.

    • What does a coffee table need energy FOR?!

      Ah, you see, that's the genius part! Because with these, we're also introducing our brand new electric wood screws and wood glue! They combine all the usefulness of your old wood screws and glue with... um... electricity! That makes them better! It does. Shut up. But, see, without power, they don't hold themselves together, and your table will fall apart! Hence the need for energy from dead pests!

      See? It all makes perfect sense! You just need to think outside the box more often!

  • This is what you get when the greenies take over ;)
    • by Seumas (6865)

      I like how the author calls them "scientists" and "professors". Of what? Where is their degree? There is no actual suggestion or evidence that these guys are anything but a couple of crazy fucks screwing around with random shit in their back yard like some crazy junk-yard collector who thinks he's making a giant communication device to the space aliens hiding behind the moon.

  • The Curious Sofa, a "pornographic illustrated story about furniture," by Edward Gorey (writing as Ogdred Weary), goes into this. Let's just say that, like most Gorey stories, it doesn't end well.

  • by outsider007 (115534) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @10:49AM (#35137672)

    Farts. I'm charging mine right now.

  • I was wondering when we would build blood thirsty robots(tm)! All we need is a hacker to release a virus to crave humans. Even if you don't think this is fiction, the sad thing is that is would be a better movie than the summer blockbusters scheduled this summer. Of course machines using humans as fuel was in movie... what was the name of that movie?
  • Hopefully this is a first step towards FINALLY getting my chairdog.
  • Can it eat the food my kids spill all over it? If so, I'm sold!!
  • At least the army had the good sense of developing their self-refueling organic-eating robot to only go for plant matter!!!
  • This must surely come from the Department of Inadvisably Applied Magic!
  • Why the heck would a table need any energy at all?
    • by HalAtWork (926717)
      To stand! If you don't replace the batteries in your coffee table, the legs don't have enough energy and it will just fall down flat! This device is definitely worth the price of mice infestation and child frightening!
    • by Rhacman (1528815)
      What else is a table going to do with all the decomposing rats in the rat decomposition receptacle? Besides, you are going to need that excess energy to power the other microbial fuel cell robots that aren't fully self sufficient or their little fly harvesting robotic arms will stop working.
  • I, for one, welcome our new wooden overlords. (I had to to do it...)
  • the little beasts will adapt soon enough

  • the chair craps you!

  • Looks like Sweeny Todd has found someone to make him a new barber chair!
  • So it eats flies and mice and craps out energon cubes... I guess we could call it an exterminate-icon....

  • from the eating-the-couch-potato dept.

    That would be vegetarian furniture.

  • I don't think I would really want those items, but if my furniture were able to lure and dispose of bugs in such a way that I would never even know about the bugs, I think I could go for that.

  • I think the path in which we make our devices green by having them consume our flesh is a path we should tread lightly upon.
  • Just what we need, new ways of killing.

    It adds a new meaning to the saying “killing for convenience”.

  • Clearly this must deserve a Nobel Prize..

  • no really, wasn't this one of the opening couch jokes on the simpsons?
  • So this assumes that houses will be mice infested in order for the table to make make a slight amount of energy? Further more, did these designers consider the ethical aspects of their idea? or the hygiene?

One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word. -- Robert Heinlein

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