Developers of the Federal Polytechnic School in Lausanne from the laboratory of intelligent systems created the world’s first edible robot, whose descendants, they believe, will be useful in the future in medicine.
Soft robotics have long been of interest to medical professionals and engineers, since an elastic miniature robot can help doctors with small operations or delivering drugs to the right place, after which it is just enough to take it out of the patient’s body, or let the robot get out of there independently and naturally. But such an approach may become morally obsolete, even if not widely used, because an “edible” robot that dissolves in the body after performing the necessary tasks, promises to be much more effective.
In Lausanne, gelatin and glycerin were used to create a “delicious” device. The developers claim that all parts of the robot, starting from manipulators and sensors, ending with the battery and its other components, are completely edible and safe for the body. Scientists believe that in the future will be able to develop much more functional and miniature robots, while the gelatine is good at making soft tentacle-manipulators. Since such a robot eventually completely digested and does not cause allergies, its components can be mixed with various medications and vitamins, thus creating opportunities for additional payload devices and freeing manipulators for other important tasks.
Nevertheless, you will not be able to have a bite with such robots. As reported by the developers, the taste is still quite nasty. Perhaps in time it will be possible to solve this problem by releasing edible robots with strawberry or watermelon flavor – then they can be sold together with the usual chewing sweets in stores.