Edible robots, yes you heard it right, edible robots can be put to various uses according to the researchers at Swiss research institute EPFL. They could be used for exploring the human bodies to food transportation and the robot would not be having any food requirements as the robot itself would be the food.
IEEE Spectrum reported these ideas for the first time as published in a paper captioned “Soft Pneumatic Gelatin Actuator for Edible Robotics”. The term “pneumatic gelatin actuators” refers to the mushy looking fingers you can see in the following figure.
Such soft type of robots are already being used in fruit markets for managing fruits without hurting oneself. These actuators are a blend of glycerin, water, and gelatin instead of made from plastic. The combination on which the actuators are made indicates for sure that the squishy fingers are both biodegradable and eatable.
Robots made with these characteristics could perform all kinds of jobs. For instance, like they could be sent to forests or wild for missions and then can be left to decompose naturally. These robots could be used by the wildlife photographers and researchers for studying the wild animals by making these robots their prey. Once the wild animal eats these robots they could be investigated or studied inside out. Finally, they could also be used for ingesting medicines for certain diseases human body suffers from. The medicine could be added to the gelatin mix so that they provide medicinal help to the body while being consumed.
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This kind of experimentation could not be expected soon but the researchers at EPFL’s Laboratory of Intelligent Systems are very hopeful. Another proposition by these researchers is that these robots could consume themselves in case their bot is having troubles and an instant energy dose is needed.