What happens to a drone when it crash lands? Besides polluting or damaging a potentially sensitive environment, it could also mean, at least for the military, that people you are spying on will know, well, that you are spying. This clever bio-drone is made from mushrooms, so it simply degrades into an inconspicuous smudge when it makes a crash landing.
The drone is almost entirely made from biological material, which means that it leaves hardly a trace behind. The body is made out of a fungal material called mycelium, which is coated in a leather-like cellulose to give it some sturdiness. The drone’s circuitry is printed using a biodegradable ink, making it even more difficult to detect.
The drone has a few parts that aren’t quite so biodegradable, like the battery and rotors, but scientists are currently working on a way to make the drone’s sensors out of E. coli bacteria, which would make the drone basically unidentifiable in a crash. “No one would know if you’d spilled some sugar water or if there’d been an airplane there,” says NASA’s Lynn Rothschild, who created the drone.