Liquid robots that the Terminator likes to escape from a cage and then reform it into its original form

Terminator 2 comes alive: morphing robots to escape a cage and then reforming them into their original form – just like a scene in the 1991 movie

In the 1991 movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” the T-1000 tends to walk through metal rails, and that sci-fi scene is recreated in a real robot.

Video of a shapeshifting robot shows it being trapped in a cage, melting and then sliding through the bars as it is fixed from the outside.

Researchers led by the Chinese University of Hong Kong have created a new phase-change material by embedding magnetic particles into gallium, a metal with a very low melting point of 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the team does not see innovation as threatening humanity as it does in the Terminator movie, they do expect to remove foreign bodies from the body or deliver drugs on demand.

The scientists tested the robot through a series of “hurdles”. One of them saw a robot in the form of a person inside a cage

In addition to the ability to change shape, the engineers say their robots are magnetic and can also conduct electricity.

The robots have been tested on obstacle courses for mobility and shape-shifting.

Read more: A shape-shifting liquid engine powers itself up by “eating” metal

The terrifying dystopia of shape-shifting metal killers seen in Terminator 2 may not be as far-fetched as once thought.

Researchers from China have created droplets of liquid metal that travel through obstacle courses and petri dishes by ‘eating’ aluminum foil

Team leader Dr. Chengfeng Pan explained that where traditional robots are rigid and have rigid bodies, “soft” robots face the opposite problem; They are flexible but vulnerable, and it is difficult to control their movements.

“Giving robots the ability to switch between a liquid and solid state gives them more functionality,” Pan said.

Senior author Professor Karmal Majidi, a mechanical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University in Canada, said: “The magnetic particles here have two roles.

One is that they make the material respond to an alternating magnetic field, so you can, through induction, heat the material and cause a phase change.

“But magnetic particles also give robots mobility and the ability to move in response to a magnetic field.”

He explained that the process contrasts with current phase-shift materials that rely on heat guns, electric currents, or other external heat sources to induce the transition from a solid to a liquid.

The new material also features an “ultra-fluid” liquid phase compared to other phase-changing materials, Professor Majidi says, whose “liquid” phases are considerably more viscous.

Before exploring potential applications, the team tested the materials’ motion and strength in different scenarios.

The bot seems to be taking inspiration from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In the 1991 movie, the T-1000 liquefies itself to walk through metal rails

The robot turns into a liquid and slides across the rails.  This is because of the magnetic particles embedded in gallium, a metal with a very low melting point of 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The robot turns into a liquid and slides across the rails. This is because of the magnetic particles embedded in gallium, a metal with a very low melting point of 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

With the help of a magnetic field, the robots jumped over ditches, scaled walls, and even split in half to cooperatively move other objects before melding back together.

“Now, we’re pushing this physical system in more practical ways to solve some very specific medical and engineering problems,” Pan said.

The team also used robots to remove a foreign body from a model stomach and deliver drugs on demand into the stomach itself.

The robot can be heated and pulled by an external magnet in a certain direction

The robot can be heated and pulled by an external magnet in a certain direction

Once out of the cage, the robot reforms it back into its solid form

Once out of the cage, the robot reforms it back into its solid form

The innovation may also serve as intelligent welding robots for assembling and repairing radio circuits and as a universal mechanical “screw” for assembling parts in hard-to-reach places.

Professor Majidi added: “Future work should further explore how these robots can be used in a biomedical context.

“What we’re showing are just one-off demonstrations, proofs of concept, but more study will be needed to delve deeper into how this can actually be used for drug delivery or for foreign body removal.”

ads

Related Posts