Chinese scientists said they were inspired by the T-1000, the self-repairing, shape-shifting killer robot from Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Terminator movie, and have developed Liquid Metal-Powered Robot A . .
According to Hong Kong media reports on October 25, the palm-sized robot consists of a plastic wheel, a small lithium battery, and a few drops of liquid metal. The robot's wheels roll when the center of gravity of the liquid metal changes, which is controlled by voltage changes through the built-in battery.
Li Xiangpeng, professor of robotics at Suzhou University, said: "We were inspired by the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Li Xiangpeng, along with Zhang Shiu of the University of Science and Technology of China and researchers at the University of Wollongong in Australia, have developed a prototype liquid metal robot, the report said.
The results of their research were recently published in the American journal Advanced Materials.
Tang Shiyang, a researcher at the University of Wollongong who participated in the study, said: "In the future, we look forward to further developing soft robots using liquid metals that can be used for special tasks such as searching for and rescuing earthquake victims. , because they can enter spaces that people can't access after changing shape."
Li Xiangpeng said his team began work on the project six years ago, when materials scientists discovered the unique properties of liquid metal alloys: high electrical conductivity, controlled surface tension, and exceptional flexibility.
Tang Shiyang said: "We believe that liquid metal alloys can help develop self-reconfiguring robots that can change their shape. And since I saw this movie when I was 10 years old, I have been thinking a lot about different things like soft robots T-1000, like that.”
While it's a far cry from the bloodcurdling killer robots of 1990s blockbusters, the researchers say they've developed a robot that can move humans to a highly adaptable organism made up of similar organisms. Soft robots made from flexible materials are taking things a step further. forward.
Li Xiangpeng said, "Given the flexibility and high energy conversion rate of tiny nanorobots, they can deliver cancer drugs and search for tumor cells in the human body."
A group led by Li Xiangpeng has reportedly made a breakthrough in the development of gallium-based liquid metal-driven robots, using voltage conversion to drive movement.
Gallium is a soft, silvery material used in electronic circuits and semiconductors. Liquid gallium alloys look like mercury and tend to take the form of water droplets.
They sealed drops of liquid metal alloy into a tube with a solution, changing the shape so thatThe center of gravity of the entire device was lifted by rotating the wheel, according to the study.
The process is controlled by changing the voltage of the liquid, and the wheel can be turned in a certain direction on a flat surface.
Tang Shiyang said, "In the next step, we plan to use multiple wheels to make it move in a 3D environment."
Li Xiangpeng said the team is also working on a robot similar to the BB-8 that appeared in the recent Star Wars film series, with a hemispherical head that can move freely.
Scientists could even use this new way to start wheels to design future cars that can run without fossil fuels or electric motors, the report says.
Li Xiangpeng said, "Perhaps 10 years from now, liquid metal robots will actually exist."