For many years, the idea of integrating robots into our everyday lives is something that has only really started becoming a reality for the majority of us. While cell phones and computers have been around us for a while, the concept of actual robots still seems very foreign to us.
However, leading researchers in Switzerland and Sweden will soon change the way we think about robots completely! Rather than thinking of humanoid ‘Autobots’ or integrated AI systems for everyday life when we think of robots – picture robotic food instead!
This probably won’t make much sense at first, but researchers at the École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, have released a prototype of an actuator that is created entirely out of edible components! For those of us who don’t know, an actuator basically works like a little motor that helps to activate other parts of a machine.
In this case, the scientists are hoping that their technology can soon be implemented to help contain and control smaller robots that metabolize in our bloodstream and help with things like automated healing (or increased wound recovery), a more effective source of energy, better non-chemical preservative qualities, and even as a method of monitoring one’s vital remotely.
However, edible robots can also be used to make our food seem like something entirely more ethereal as well. Could you imagine food that changes color, wiggling sweets, and secret message-encoded food products? The skin of the edible parts is made primarily out of glycerol or an edible alcohol-based substance. This means that the robot has a long shelf-life but can also digest quite simply once consumed.
While the edible equipment isn’t ready for mass consumption yet, the primary results are encouraging. By being able to replace previous silicone-based models, scientists can now work towards an entirely new field of edible robot design, opening the door to a new range of possibilities for human beings, our connectivity and our health in the future.