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Stranded Without Food? Edible Drone Has Snackable Wings

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The wings of this drone are nutritious and, depending on what you think about rice cakes, delicious.

The drone's design uses some familiar-looking airplane-like components; the big difference is that its fixed wing is made from rice cakes and gelatin.

Credit: RoboFood

It's a nightmare scenario. You're on an ambitious mountain hike when you get lost, injured or stranded. The good news is help is finally on the way, but the bad news is it's going to take time to reach you and you're out of food. That's when a buzzing drone comes flying in for a landing. Not only do you get the snacks, medicine or water it's carrying, you can eat the wings to tide you over until the rescue team arrives.

This scenario could become real. A team with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) has developed a prototype edible drone. The munchable machine is part of a broader project called RoboFood. RoboFood is about investigating edible robots for humans and animals as well as foods that behave like robots.

The team published its work online with the title "Towards edible drones for rescue missions: design and flight of nutritional wings." The study is tackling the problem of getting commercial drones to carry enough of a payload to help people in emergency situations.

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