A robot you can eat


In Switzerland, researchers at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne are developing edible robots that could be used for everything from food transportation to animal research.

The robots use pneumatic gelatin actuators made from glycerin, water, and gelatin. Soft robots with “squishy fingers” are already being used to sort fruit. Edible robots could be used in situations where it was easier to leave it behind. Another application could be wildlife research, where animals would eat the robots and could be studied internally.

The paper, entitled Soft Pneumatic Gelatin Actuator for Edible Robotics, was published in a recent issue of IEEE Spectrum.