Science & Tech

Shapeshifting 'Terminator' robots are finally here

This shape-shifting robot can melt through bars just like the T-1000 in …

Researchers have figured out how to make shapeshifting robots that can turn into liquid, split apart, then rejoin.

The humanoid miniature robots are able to switch between liquid and solid states thanks to the metal gallium which can be controlled remotely with a magnetic field.

“Giving robots the ability to switch between liquid and solid states endows them with more functionality,” said Dr. Chengfeng Pan, an engineer at The Chinese University of Hong Kong who led the study.

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The shapeshifting robots are a breakthrough in science that could allow for the creation of more robots that can switch between liquids and solids that can, hopefully, be used in various situations.

Researchers showed how the robots can become flexible in fluid-like states through demonstrations.

In one demonstration, researchers put the small robots in a miniature jail cell to show how it was able to escape by becoming a liquid form.

In another, they showed how the robots were able to split in half to move over objects and then join back together.

Although much smaller than the robots in TheTerminator, many compared the similarities between the humanoid robots. Of course, people expressed concern over creating powerful robots that can change physical form.

"Oh dear. We skipped straight to Terminator 2," Dan wrote.

"Listen up, creative types: just don't give scientists ideas, anymore, okay?" Mercedes tweeted.

Researchers are hoping they can use their new development to find ways the robots can be useful.

“Future work should further explore how these robots could be used within a biomedical context,” Carmel Majidi, from Carnegie Mellon University said.

“What we’re showing are just one-off demonstrations, proofs of concept, but much more study will be required to delve into how this could actually be used for drug delivery or for removing foreign objects.”

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