Chinese Scientists Invent Liquid Metal Machines That Move by ‘Eating’ Substances

/ 2 years ago


Chinese scientists from the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the medical school of Tsinghua University have reportedly invented liquid metal machines that can change shape similar to the T-1000 robot in the Terminator 2 movie by ‘eating’ substances.

The machines are stated to ‘eat’ small pieces of aluminium and move spontaneously in various solutions and structured channels for more than an hour at a speed of 5 centimeters per second.

“The biomimetic mollusk is highly self-adaptive and closely conforms to the geometrical space it is in,” scientists wrote.

The power for the liquid metal motor comes from the endogenous electric field of liquid alloys, metal and hydrogen generated by the electrochemical reactions. Based on the latter theory, the researchers then developed several liquid metal machines that move in alkalescent, acidic or neutral electrolytes.

“Such liquid metal transformers and locomotors could provide on-demand use given specific designs,” according to the researchers’ paper

Scientists and engineers alike share the dream of advanced intelligent machines that are flexible and are able to spontaneously shape-shift, therefore real-world application possibilities granted from the prototypes developed by the Chinese researchers are infinite.

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