Research delves into robots that decompose


The world we live in is getting more and more futuristic. It’s nowhere near The Jetsons yet, but our human race has already managed to create and use robots to manage some tasks that we would rather not do ourselves. This includes menial tasks related to manufacturing, dangerous ones such as bomb-disposal and ocean exploration, and even some to keep our cities clean.

Speaking of keeping our cities clean, we realize that these robots are made primarily from metal and plastic—meaning they’re non-biodegradable and thus harmful to our environment once they meet their end. Dr. Jonathan Rossiter from the University of Bristol and Dr. Ioannis Ieropoulous from the University of the West of England have begun a two-year research mission to find a robot that decomposes.

Both researchers are from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) that focuses on creating robots that can intelligently act by themselves without human assistance. These robots still need to be recovered and dismantled eventually, though, lest they pollute the earth. By constructing robots from biodegradable materials, they can simply decompose into the earth after their tasks are done.