Judgement Day is almost upon us.
Scientists just introduced a milimeter-sized robot made of liquid metal that can melt and reform itself to escape containment. Not only that, this robot, a tiny tiny thing that nonetheless reminds one of the T1000 robot from Terminator 2, can also stretch and move to pick up objects or meld itself to them.
The only good news so far? As of now, it’s just very small though, if you look at this gif, it’s still the stuff of nightmares.
“Carmel Majidi at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania and his colleagues created a robot that can not only shape-shift but also become stronger or weaker by alternating between being a liquid and a solid.
They made the millimeter-sized robot from a mix of the liquid metal gallium and microscopic pieces of a magnetic material made of neodymium, iron and boron. When solid, the material was strong enough to support an object 30 times its own mass. To make it soften, stretch, move or melt into a crawling puddle as needed for different tasks, the researchers put it near magnets. The magnets’ customized magnetic fields exerted forces on the tiny magnetic pieces in the robot, moving them and deforming the surrounding metal in different directions.
For instance, the team stretched a robot by applying a magnetic field that pulled these granules in multiple directions,” reports NewScientist.
In one experiment, the robot was used to carry and solder a small light bulb onto a circuit board, melting itself to attach it to the board. In another, scientists sent the robot inside an artificial stomach, made it melt over a foreign object inside of it, then pulled it out.
You can read all about the project here – and I won’t blame you if you want to pack up and move to Mexico trying to outrun the doom.
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