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Video. Scientists have created a robot that can liquefy and then re-solidify

This tiny robot is made of gallium and magnetite particles, which enables it to have an extremely low melting temperature, at just 29.8°C. Besides magnetic particles, the metal becomes reactive to magnetic fields in two ways. First, by changing the magnetic field and according to the induction process, the miniature robot can remotely heat and soften at room temperature. Then, thanks to the particles, they are able to interact with the magnetic field to move. It moves at a speed of 1.5m/s and supports a load of 30kg.

Inspired by… sea cucumber

If the researchers recreate this robot “Terminator 2” scene where the T-1000 escapes from prison by liquefying, it’s actually not inspired by science fiction but by a sea cucumber. As revealed by researchers in the journal MattSea cucumbers, like octopuses, can make their skin soft or hard as needed.

The researchers believe that this hybrid machine, due to its ability to adopt different states, will be a solution to the current miniature robots, which are still too fragile or too rigid. The little robot followed a real obstacle course that put its resistance and mobility to the test: through ditches, climbed along walls and split in two to be able to move objects before returning to their original shape.

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