Liquid metal robot

Looks like something out of the movie Terminator. It was made by Chinese and American researchers. It managed to pass through bars. It is the liquid metal robot that surprises with its possibilities.

In the scientific journal Matter details are reported. It is made from a matrix of a metal, gallium, which, pure, melts at 29.8 degrees. That is, it would melt in the hands. They added an alloy of three other elements: neodymium, iron and boron. With this, they amplified the response of the device to magnetic fields.

The liquid metal robot resembles the Terminator.
Liquid metal robot resembles Terminator.

Escape from the bars

The robot has been called MPTM (Magnetoactive Phase Transition Material). A magnetic field induces an electric current inside the gallium that generates heat, changing from solid to liquid. It can jump 20 times its height and rotate on itself at 1,500 revolutions per minute. It can also move at a speed of one meter per second.

In a video, it escapes from a kind of prison by breaking through the bars in a liquid state. It solidifies again outside the prison. Scientists devised several experiments. In one, they turn it into a screw that occupies the hole in its liquid form and seals it once solid. In another, it acts as a soldering iron in an LED circuit, using part of itself as solder.

Medical Solutions

For its creators, MPTM could have relevant medical applications. Using a water-filled artificial stomach model, they solved two very common problems in medicine. In one of them, they drove the robot to a foreign body that had to be removed. Once next to it, the magnet melted the robot, which embraced the object, a small ball. Once cold, they quickly extracted it again by playing with the magnets. In the other, they tested the administration of a drug wrapped in MPTM. After taking it to the place where it was needed, it melted and was released.

Giving robots the ability to switch between liquid and solid states gives them more functionality. They hope to solve very specific medical and engineering problems. This is the other great advantage of magnetism. It goes through the body or objects to get into nooks and crannies where there is no other way to do it. And the liquid metal robot, this little Terminatoruses it to his advantage.

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