February 5, 2023

Gliding sensors inspired by floating seeds will biodegrade after use

Gliding sensors inspired by floating seeds will biodegrade after use
Gliding sensors inspired by floating seeds will biodegrade after useGliding sensors inspired by floating seeds will biodegrade after use

A biodegradable glider based on the seeds of the Javan cucumber, which float for long distances, could be used to monitor the environment without leaving polluting e-waste

Technology 29 November 2022

The winged seeds of Javan cucumbers glide down from high up in the forest canopy

Nature Picture Library/Alamy Stock Photo

A gliding sensor inspired by Javan cucumber seeds could be used for environmental monitoring, and then quickly biodegrade, leaving no waste behind.

Ecologists routinely use sensors to collect data on temperature, humidity, pH and other variables to better understand ecosystems. But when these sensors are left behind, the electronic waste ends up polluting the environment.

Now, Fabian Wiesemüller at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology and his colleagues have taken a …