Maryanna Aguiar – Postal Special
Publication date 1/25/2023 5:06 PM
(Credit: playback/YouTube video)
Scientists developed a Robot Which can switch between solid and liquid states. In the experiment, the robot was filmed escaping in a solid form of a miniature cell, with the rods very close together. The creators claim that they were inspired by the ability of sea cucumbers to change the rigidity of their tissues.
Among the chief capabilities of the invention, it is the changing of a physical state into whatever is required that attracts the most interest. The robot is the creation of a team led by researcher Chengfeng Pan, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who said that through this experiment it is possible to see how robots can provide life-saving services to humans: “Giving robots the ability to switch between a liquid state,” Pan said in a statement. And the solid gives them more functionality.
This feat relies on a material that can change between a solid and liquid state under the influence of a magnetic field, which the authors call a “solid-to-liquid magnetic phase transition machine.” To make it, they needed a metal that turns into a liquid near room temperature.
Phase change materials had been done before, but they needed external sources of heat or electric currents for transformation. Neither is ideal if you want to send the robot into a hard-to-reach location, such as inside a human body.
Article originally published on the portal Thing Reports indicate that, in addition to the video’s feats, the tiny robot can jump 21 millimeters (0.8 inches) and climb walls when they’re solid, and slice itself to wrap around objects before reassembling itself when it’s liquid. “Now, we’re leveraging this system of materials in more practical ways to solve some very specific medical and engineering problems,” Pan said.
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