A cult series of sci-fi movies called The Terminator needs no introduction. Although its latest releases were not the best and the brand’s reputation has deteriorated significantly, the original and its sequel with the subtitle “Judgment Day” enjoy unfailing esteem to this day. Recently, the news that scientists have developed a material from which they form small humanoid robots from LEGO cubes, capable of smoothly changing their shape from liquid to solid and vice versa!
The “bots” developed by Dr. Chengfeng Pan and his team at the Chinese University of Hong Kong resemble the shape of the famous LEGO man and have exactly the same capabilities as the T-1000.
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To create this very interesting material, scientists used microscopic pieces of neodymium magnets, made from a mixture of neodymium, boron, and iron, that were fused into liquid gallium (a metal that has a very low melting point of just 29.76 degrees Celsius). Then, after hardening such a material, the shape of a robot was formed. To demonstrate the skill of their invention, the researchers placed him in a cage, then used magnets to change his state and free him from confinement. Then the robot returned to its original form as you can see in the video below:
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The researchers claim that they were not inspired by a character from a famous movie, but sea cucumbers (in other words – sea cucumbers) with the ability to freely modify the rigidity of their bodies (they increase it for defensive purposes and to increase the weight they are able to carry). In the experiment, the robot was heated by induction, and thanks to a moving magnet, an electric current was generated that melted gallium. Later, the “liquid robot”, thanks to the microscopic magnetic particles contained in it, was attracted towards the magnet. Scientists not only extracted the material from the cage, but also subjected it to other tests, including with the help of a magnetic field, it jumped over small holes, climbed walls, and also split in half to move two elements at once, to return to a solid state after the tests. One would like to say: science is fun!
Source: Study Finds, WION, Daily Mail
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