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Edible batteries, sensors and actuators unlock robots designed to be eaten

Date: 17.6.2024 

Scientists have already made edible robotic components. The next challenge is integrating them together to create an entire robot snack that could be used in a wide range of applications, from delivering healthcare to monitoring the environment.

Kredit: DALL-E.Imagine ordering drone delivery for your takeout, and then, after eating your food, you eat the delivery drone for dessert. The first part has been happening for a while; the second – the edible robot – could be coming soon, according to scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL).

“Bringing robots and food together is a fascinating challenge,” said Dario Floreano, director of the EPFL’s Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (LIS) and the lead author of a recently published perspective article that considered how far we are from the reality of edible robots. “We are still figuring out which edible materials work similarly to non-edible ones.”

“There is a lot of research on single edible components like actuators, sensors, and batteries,” said Bokeon Kwak, a RoboFood team member and one of the perspective paper’s co-authors. “But the biggest technical challenge is putting together the parts that use electricity to function, like batteries and sensors, with those that use fluids and pressure to move, like actuators.”

Image source: DALL-E.





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