Soft pneumatic gelatin actuator for edible robotics


J. Shintake, H. Sonar, E. Piskarev, J. Paik, and D. Floreano, “Soft pneumatic gelatin actuator for edible robotics,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 2017.


We present a fully edible pneumatic actuator based on gelatin-glycerol composite. The actuator is monolithic, fabricated via a molding process, and measures 90 mm in length, 20 mm in width, and 17 mm in thickness. Thanks to the composite mechanical characteristics similar to those of silicone elastomers, the actuator exhibits a bending angle of 170.3 {\deg} and a blocked force of 0.34 N at the applied pressure of 25 kPa. These values are comparable to elastomer based pneumatic actuators. As a validation example, two actuators are integrated to form a gripper capable of handling various objects, highlighting the high performance and applicability of the edible actuator. These edible actuators, combined with other recent edible materials and electronics, could lay the foundation for a new type of edible robots.