Scientists want to make EDIBLE robots using gelatin – and they've already built the first part

Edible ROBOTS could soon be a reality after researchers in Switzerland created an actuator made of gelatin .

Actuators are responsible for moving or controlling a mechanism within a machine.

And once we start figuring out how to make great-tasting batteries, sensors and electrodes – robotics are on the menu .

Not unlike a pacemaker, having machinery inside your body could help with a variety of medical conditions. Becoming a temporary cyborg could also improve the ability to scan your inner workings.

Looks tasty
(Photo: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

“The components of such edible robots could also me mixed with nutrient or pharmaceutical components for digestion and metabolization,” wrote the team at the Intelligent Systems Laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland.

“The robots could also take a role of animals’ prey to observe their hunting behaviours, or to train protected animals to do predation.

“Once medical components are mixed into the edible composition, the robots could help preservation of wild animals or heal inside of the human body.

The edible robot in action
(Photo: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

“When edible robots can be metabolized, they also function as energy storage providing an advantage in terms of increased payload with respect to non-edible robots that must be loaded with a food payload.

“This would be effective in rescue scenarios where the metabolizable robots can reach survivors in isolated places like inside a crevice or up on mountain,” the team wrote.

In order to test the gelatin actuators they had built, the team integrated them into a pincer that was then programmed to pick up a piece of fruit.

It was developed as a proof of concept, but the Swiss team believe that with more research and time, their prototype could “pave the way towards the new field of edible robotics.”

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