There’s now a robot you can eat

You can eat the apple afterwards.
You can eat the apple afterwards.
Image: YouTube/IEEE Spectrum
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Robots:  It’s what’s for dinner.

Researchers from the Swiss federal polytechnic school in Lausanne presented a robot at last week’s International Conference on
Intelligent Robots and Systems in Canada that is made entirely of edible materials, IEEE Spectrum reported.

The robot is based on similar soft robotics concepts being tested by researchers around the world to make machines that can interact with our fragile selves and not crush us—the difference here being that the robot is made out of an entirely edible gelatin and glycerin materials. Everything, from the gripping fingers, through to the sensors, batteries, and transistors, is digestible. That’s not to say, however, that ingesting this robot would taste any good, as anyone who has had the misfortune of eating unflavored gelatin might know.

While a robot of this size isn’t something you could exactly eat right now and have it working inside you in one piece, it does promise a future where we could swallow smaller bots that could repair us from the inside. Or perhaps the robot equivalent of a roto-rooter for our insides. These materials are also biodegradable, meaning robots that could be disposable in the future, or even as the researchers’ paper says, “food transportation where the robot does not require additional payload because the robot is the food,” IEEE pointed out.

I’m looking forward to having a pizza delivered in the distant future by an edible pizza-shaped robot.