Edible drone delivers emergency food to people in need

This edible drone provides emergency food to people in need by delivering its wings made of rice cakes and gelatin.

The wings of this drone deliver a breakfast's worth of mostly flavorless calories and were constructed using hexagonal laser-cut rice cake blocks.

A team of researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) has created a drone you can literally eat in case of an emergency.

The partially edible drone is a real invention that was displayed at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robotics and Systems (IROS).

Edible drone with rice cake wings

The group got to work creating a device that could be used in a rescue operation to deliver vital calories in areas where heavier or more conventional vehicles would be ineffective.

The answer is to construct the drone, or at the very least its wings, out of food.

The team used a laser to cut round rice cakes into hexagons, then used gelatin to “glue” them together. They were motivated by how similar the texture and appearance of rice cakes and packing foam are.

The hexagons are then shaped into a wing shape, and a layer of non-edible plastic wrap and tape is added to prevent the dry cakes from absorbing liquid and crumbling.

The edible wing of the drone, according to lead author Bokeon Kwak, “tastes like a crunchy rice crisp cookie with a little touch of raw gelatin,” as no artificial flavor has yet been added.

Kwak acknowledged that the drone is more of an emergency ration than a tasty treat.

The team has not yet made their paper, Towards Edible Drones for Rescue Missions: Design and Flight of Nutritional Wings, available to the general public. More information is available in IEEE Spectrum's coverage.

You can read more stories about how drones are being used for good here on DroneXL.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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