A new host of liquid metals that have applications towards soft robotics are making movies like'The Terminator' transcend make-believe. According to researchers, experimental liquid metals like gallium and other alloys, when supplemented with nickel or iron, are able to flex and mold into shapes with the use of magnets, much like the iconic movie villain, T-1000 from'The Terminator 2: Judgement Day.' While other such metals have been developed, they contended with two major drawbacks. A new host of liquid metals that have applications towards soft robotics are making movies like'The Terminator' transcend make-believe toward real life. Researchers say experimental liquid metals like gallium and other alloys, when supplemented with nickel or iron, are able to flex and mold into shapes with the use of magnets. A new material revealed by the American Chemical Society solves to major problems experienced by similar substances.
A small metal droplet can propel a wheeled robot forward with a simple electric current. The technique paves the way for larger robots that can trundle like tumbleweeds through unfriendly terrain. Shi-Yang Tang at the University of Wollongong in Australia and his colleagues started with a plastic wheel about five centimetres across with walls along its edges, shaped like a car tyre. Inside the wheel they placed a drop of liquid metal made mostly of gallium.
The self-assembling shape shifting killer robots from the Terminator films could be a step closer, thanks to the development of self-propelling liquid metals. A team of Australian researchers is laying the groundwork for T-1000s by creating the basis of soft electric circuits. Unlike modern circuitry found in electronic devices, which remain based on circuits with solid state components, future connections could be much more flexible and able to move and reconfigure as necessary. A team at RMIT University in Melbourne used non-toxic alloys of the metal gallium, which is liquid at close to room temperature. By adding droplets of the alloy galinstan to water and changing the pH, they were able to make the drops move about freely.
Electronic blood vessels made from a combination of metal and plastic could be used to replace arteries damaged by cardiovascular disease. Xingyu Jiang at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, and his colleagues created their artificial vessel by printing a layer of liquid metal ink, containing gallium and indium, onto a flexible, biodegradble polymer membrane. They then rolled up the polymer into a cylinder to create an artificial blood vessel about 2 millimetres wide.
Strange footage of a'magical stone that melts metal' has emerged online, sending the internet into a frenzy. The clip appears to show someone placing a nail on a black rock with it transforming into a liquid state just seconds later. Uploaded onto YouTube earlier this week, the clip left viewers baffled but experts say the nail is most likely made of gallium, which melts at around 29.8 C or 85.6 F. Strange footage of a'magical stone that melts metal' has emerged online, sending the internet into a frenzy. The clip'Bizarre Stone Found That Melts Metal' was uploaded by'The Hidden Underbelly' and left viewers scratching their heads. One version of the footage racked up nearly eight million views in four days.