Biological fungus drone can melt into a puddle of goop

A biodegradable drone made mainly of mushroom material has completed its first flight. The quadrotor drone was built at NASA’s Ames research center, and is the first step to producing an unmanned aerial vehicle that operators can use to explore remote locations without potentially contaminating them with old electronics, or to spy in sensitive areas before allowing the device to melt away into the ground.


The drone’s chassis was made of mycelium, a fungal material that can be grown into specific shapes, from packaging to surfboard cores. That mycelium was given a covering of cellulose “leather” sheets grown by bacteria, before being coated in the same proteins paper wasps use to coat their nests, cloned from the insects…

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