Are synthetic muscles the wave of the future in robotics? The goal of the investigation into the potential applications of biodegradable artificial muscles for soft robotics, led by the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS), was to provide an answer to this topic.Robotic garbage collector, or gripper. (Credit: MPI-IS, or the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems).Gripper the robot is clutching lettuce. (Credit: MPI-IS, or the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems).In the rapidly developing field of soft robotics, we see a pressing need for sustainable materials. Biodegradable parts could offer a sustainable solution especially for single-use applications, like for medical operations, search-and-rescue missions, and manipulation of hazardous substances.