GelBat: An Edible Gelatin-Based Battery

Hsing-Yu Chen*, Alexander G Keller, Andrew T Conn, Jonathan M Rossiter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


The development of green batteries has implications for many fields including sustainable robotics and edible electronics. Here we present GelBat, a biodegradable, digestible and rechargeable battery constructed from gelatin and activated carbon. The device utilises the water splitting reaction to produce a simple, sustainable Bacon fuel cell which can produce an output voltage of over 1V for 10 minutes, depending on the load resistance, with 10 minutes of charging and whose only byproduct is water. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry and self discharge tests are carried out to characterize the behaviour of the battery. The system does not lose any efficiency with repeated recharging cycles and can be completely dissolved in a simulated gastric fluid within 20 minutes. The simplicity of this design combined with the bioresorbable materials demonstrates the potential of this work to help advance robotic research towards more sustainable untethered autonomous systems and edible robots.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2023 IEEE 6th International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Apr 2023
Event6th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft) - Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 3 Apr 20237 Apr 2023


Conference6th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft)
Abbreviated titleRoboSoft 2023
Internet address


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