Sam Smith is creating open-source trash-eating robots
16

patrons

$138
per creation
“Infrastructure” is the term we use to refer to all the systems that provide us with the things we need to live- food, water, shelter, energy, information, healthcare, etc. “Infra” means below, and infra-structure is often literally below our feet, and figuratively below our everyday awareness- the roads, the water mains, the sewers, the power lines, the gas pipes, the fiber optic cables that make everyday life possible. Most people don’t think much about infrastructure it until it stops working- and most of our infrastructure is dangerously centralized, built on outdated and ecologically destructive principles, and operated by often-corrupt institutions.

“Ultrastructure" is a term used in cellular biology to refer to the intricate and interdependent structures within living cells that enable them to do things like turn air and sunshine into food, or break foods apart into energy and resources, and then use genetic information stored DNA to assemble those resources into the tissues and proteins they needs to grow and sustain themselves.

And it's exactly this kind of biologically-informed, massively-redundant, ecologically-balanced infrastructure, that each of us already possesses at the cellular scale, that we so desperately need on a global, decentralized, village-and-city scale.

So I use the term Ultrastructure to refer to small-scale systems designed to meet the same needs that our existing infrastructure does- essential human needs like food, water, shelter, energy, information, and care- but designed in a way that is open-source, small-scale, easy-to-build, easily-to-replicate, easy-to-adapt, ecologically regenerative, that make it as easy as possible for anyone anywhere to meet the needs of the people around.

I personally believe (you don't have to) that simply making disruptively useful information freely available to people- information that makes it as easy as possible for anyone anywhere to easily meet the needs of the people around them without ecological destruction, by mimicking the metabolism of living systems- will go along way towards building a just, healthy, and peaceful planetary society, by giving people the tools they need to actively bypass the oppressive and destructive institutions that currently control these resources, and replace them with small-scale, ecologically-integrated alternatives.

My current project is to build "The Metabolizer"- a mobile trash-processing lab that is capable of literally eating trash- collecting, shredding, sorting, drying, and thermally decomposing it, and using the energy it contains to power itself and refine the raw materials back into new and useful things, like light, heat, electricity, power, clean drinking water, hot water, cooking fuel, liquid biofuels that can run unmodified gas and diesel engines, all while pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and sequestering it in the form of bio-char, which can be used for energy storage, water filtration, and soil-building.

Don't think that's possible? That's cool! It's certainly difficult to do, and that's what makes it fun and interesting! I've spent the past 10 years of my life researching this stuff, and I believe that what I am trying to do is possible, plausible, and preferable- deeply enough that I intend to spend the rest of my life trying, over and over again, to get closer and closer to that goal, and making it easier and easier for other people to do the same (if they want to). So if you like the stuff I build and want to see what I can pull off with consistent community funding, consider supporting me! $2 a month from a bunch of people goes a long way! The more backers I get, the more stuff I can build!

And if you don't think I can do it, that's cool too! How much you wanna bet?
Tiers
Everything I produce is open-source!
$2 or more per creation 2 patrons
There are no special rewards for people who pledge more!
Includes Discord rewards
But the more you pledge...
$3 or more per creation 0 patrons
The more disruptively awesome stuff I can build!
And every backer gets to participate in the design process...
$5 or more per creation 4 patrons
By voting on polls and getting real-time project updates!
Includes Discord rewards
And all backers also get a private access to my Discord page...
$8 or more per creation 2 patrons
Which gives us a real-time communication hub where backers can share their own work, meet each other, help solve problems, ask questions, and coordinate with each other!
Includes Discord rewards
You only pay on a "Per-Creation" basis
$13 or more per creation 0 patrons
Which means that you only pay when I actually do something!
Includes Discord rewards
And you can set a per-month limit...
$21 or more per creation 2 patrons
So you never spend more than you plan to.
Includes Discord rewards
Did you know that plastics can be turned into Diesel fuel?
$34 or more per creation 1 patron
They can be! Plastics that can't be recycled can be distilled into fuels that can run car engines! Check out the goals section to see all the stuff I'll build and how much I need to build it!
Includes Discord rewards
Did you know that you can turn food scraps into natural gas?
$55 or more per creation 0 patrons
And the process also makes high-grade liquid fertilized you can use to grow more food! Let's make it easier for people to build stuff like this!
Includes Discord rewards
The more we can meet our needs from sunshine...
$89 or more per creation 0 patrons
The less we need to rely on corrupt and evil companies just to live comfortable lives.
Includes Discord rewards
And the more we can make that disruptively useful information available...
$144 or more per creation 0 patrons
The easier it will be for people to build regenerative ultrastructure in their own communities!
Includes Discord rewards
Goals
16 of 50 patrons
If I can reach 50 backers, donating around $5-10 each, I'll be able to unlock $300-$500 every time I'm ready to move forward on the next step my project! I'll make a detailed post about what I'm going to use the money for and why, and then I'll post updates as I go, and post reflection on how it all went and what I learned before I take the next step. Being able to hack away at my prototypes in $500 chunks would go a long way!
1 of 3
“Infrastructure” is the term we use to refer to all the systems that provide us with the things we need to live- food, water, shelter, energy, information, healthcare, etc. “Infra” means below, and infra-structure is often literally below our feet, and figuratively below our everyday awareness- the roads, the water mains, the sewers, the power lines, the gas pipes, the fiber optic cables that make everyday life possible. Most people don’t think much about infrastructure it until it stops working- and most of our infrastructure is dangerously centralized, built on outdated and ecologically destructive principles, and operated by often-corrupt institutions.

“Ultrastructure" is a term used in cellular biology to refer to the intricate and interdependent structures within living cells that enable them to do things like turn air and sunshine into food, or break foods apart into energy and resources, and then use genetic information stored DNA to assemble those resources into the tissues and proteins they needs to grow and sustain themselves.

And it's exactly this kind of biologically-informed, massively-redundant, ecologically-balanced infrastructure, that each of us already possesses at the cellular scale, that we so desperately need on a global, decentralized, village-and-city scale.

So I use the term Ultrastructure to refer to small-scale systems designed to meet the same needs that our existing infrastructure does- essential human needs like food, water, shelter, energy, information, and care- but designed in a way that is open-source, small-scale, easy-to-build, easily-to-replicate, easy-to-adapt, ecologically regenerative, that make it as easy as possible for anyone anywhere to meet the needs of the people around.

I personally believe (you don't have to) that simply making disruptively useful information freely available to people- information that makes it as easy as possible for anyone anywhere to easily meet the needs of the people around them without ecological destruction, by mimicking the metabolism of living systems- will go along way towards building a just, healthy, and peaceful planetary society, by giving people the tools they need to actively bypass the oppressive and destructive institutions that currently control these resources, and replace them with small-scale, ecologically-integrated alternatives.

My current project is to build "The Metabolizer"- a mobile trash-processing lab that is capable of literally eating trash- collecting, shredding, sorting, drying, and thermally decomposing it, and using the energy it contains to power itself and refine the raw materials back into new and useful things, like light, heat, electricity, power, clean drinking water, hot water, cooking fuel, liquid biofuels that can run unmodified gas and diesel engines, all while pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and sequestering it in the form of bio-char, which can be used for energy storage, water filtration, and soil-building.

Don't think that's possible? That's cool! It's certainly difficult to do, and that's what makes it fun and interesting! I've spent the past 10 years of my life researching this stuff, and I believe that what I am trying to do is possible, plausible, and preferable- deeply enough that I intend to spend the rest of my life trying, over and over again, to get closer and closer to that goal, and making it easier and easier for other people to do the same (if they want to). So if you like the stuff I build and want to see what I can pull off with consistent community funding, consider supporting me! $2 a month from a bunch of people goes a long way! The more backers I get, the more stuff I can build!

And if you don't think I can do it, that's cool too! How much you wanna bet?

Recent posts by Sam Smith

Tiers
Everything I produce is open-source!
$2 or more per creation 2 patrons
There are no special rewards for people who pledge more!
Includes Discord rewards
But the more you pledge...
$3 or more per creation 0 patrons
The more disruptively awesome stuff I can build!
And every backer gets to participate in the design process...
$5 or more per creation 4 patrons
By voting on polls and getting real-time project updates!
Includes Discord rewards
And all backers also get a private access to my Discord page...
$8 or more per creation 2 patrons
Which gives us a real-time communication hub where backers can share their own work, meet each other, help solve problems, ask questions, and coordinate with each other!
Includes Discord rewards
You only pay on a "Per-Creation" basis
$13 or more per creation 0 patrons
Which means that you only pay when I actually do something!
Includes Discord rewards
And you can set a per-month limit...
$21 or more per creation 2 patrons
So you never spend more than you plan to.
Includes Discord rewards
Did you know that plastics can be turned into Diesel fuel?
$34 or more per creation 1 patron
They can be! Plastics that can't be recycled can be distilled into fuels that can run car engines! Check out the goals section to see all the stuff I'll build and how much I need to build it!
Includes Discord rewards
Did you know that you can turn food scraps into natural gas?
$55 or more per creation 0 patrons
And the process also makes high-grade liquid fertilized you can use to grow more food! Let's make it easier for people to build stuff like this!
Includes Discord rewards
The more we can meet our needs from sunshine...
$89 or more per creation 0 patrons
The less we need to rely on corrupt and evil companies just to live comfortable lives.
Includes Discord rewards
And the more we can make that disruptively useful information available...
$144 or more per creation 0 patrons
The easier it will be for people to build regenerative ultrastructure in their own communities!
Includes Discord rewards