Scientists Develop Terminator-style Expandable Liquid Metal That Could Revolutionize Soft Robotics
- Liquid metal is compared to a popular villain of "The Terminator"
- It can bend and mold, making it applicable to future soft robotics projects
- Unlike other liquid metals, it is viable out of the water and can bend vertically
A new set of liquid metals with applications in soft robotics makes movies like "The Terminator" transcend the pretense.
According to the researchers, experimental liquid metals such as gallium and other alloys, when supplemented with nickel or iron, are capable of deforming and molding with magnets, at least once a year. like the notorious T-1000 movie "The Terminator 2: The Day of Judgment."
Although other metals of this type have been developed, they have two major drawbacks.
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A new set of liquid metals that have applications in soft robotics make movies like "The Terminator" transcend the imaginary to real life. Researchers test moldable liquid metal with soft robotics applications
WHAT'S "LIQUID METAL"?
The researchers explained that experimental liquid metals such as gallium and other alloys, when supplemented with nickel or iron, are able to deform and take shape with the help of d & # 39; magnets.
A new material revealed by the American Chemical Society solves the major problems faced by similar substances.
On the one hand, it can stretch vertically, unlike previous versions.
Second, the substance can be handled outside the water with the help of magnets.
This could be used in soft robotics.
Firstly, the anterior substances could stretch only horizontally because of their high surface tension, which considerably limited them in terms of mobility.
Second, prior substances could only be handled when they were completely submerged in water.
According to the researchers, if they are removed from the liquid, the substances become a kind of paste.
However, new advances have solved these two problems.
By adding iron and nickel to gallium and a tin alloy immersed in hydrochloric acid, the researchers claim to have been able to dramatically reduce surface tension and then stretch the material up to 50%. At four times its resting length.
The material – tested while it was immersed in a liquid – also showed conductivity by connecting two electrodes and turning on an LED bulb.
The researchers found that the metal also crossed another hurdle: it was able to connect to an electrode placed vertically above the metal, out of the water, without turning into a paste.
Although the demonstration completely undermines the films, the research paper, published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces said that their discovery could be a first step.
"This … is a fundamental and promising platform for the further development of liquid metals", reads the newspaper.
"And ultimately, we will end up in the future with intelligent virtual robots and biomimetic reconfigurable dynamically."
According to the researchers, experimental liquid metals such as gallium and other alloys, when supplemented with nickel or iron, are capable of deforming and molding with magnets, at least once a year. like the notorious T-1000 movie T-1000 from The Terminator 2: The day of judgment & # 39;