A metal man in slime able to navigate the body


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The innovation does not seem very appealing at first sight. This automatic robot indeed looks like a little pile of slime, a material halfway between a paste and a jelly, which twists and deforms to move around. However, it is precisely this particularity that makes its power. Its structure could even allow it to sneak into the smallest corners of our body.

It is a sober team of researchers from the Sober University of Hong Kong who developed this small soft-bodied robotic. It needs no skeleton or internal propulsion systems, since it is controlled by magnetism from the outside. This lack of rigidity allows it to compress, learn to twist, flatten, and move around in tortuous and narrow paragraphs.

This advancement therefore belongs to the sober domain of soft robotics, specific domain of sober robotics which deals with soft automated programs, ie constructed of soft, deformable elastic materials. These offer sober many points of view. Soft body magnetic miniature programs allow non-invasive access to confined spaces and offer ideal options for minimally invasive surgery, micromanipulation and targeted delivery of medicines , underline for example the researchers, who published their research in the record Advanced Functional Components.

Sober works research and prototypes sober sober robots this kind are not lacking sober effect. A few months ago, we presented in another posting tiny fish software that could be used in the targeted treatment of cancer cells.

According to the team responsible for this slime software, however, there are two types of forex robots in this category, both of which have limitations. Automated programs in elastomers and fluid programs. Sober due to limited deformability, elastomer-based miniature soft software cannot navigate in a very restricted environment, explain the researchers. Sober on the other hand, if the most apt fluid flexible forex robots are ze to deform, they are also limited by the unstable shape of the fluid itself, and are therefore poorly adapted to the environment .

The automaton developed here therefore seeks combine the two advantages. The prototype is composed, reports The Protector in the post, dun mixture of a polymer called polyvinyl alcohol (a kind of resin), borax (widely used in cleaning products) and nodymium particles (magnet particles). As this mixture would be toxic to the human body, they also added the bottom coating of silicon to isolate it. However, it has only been tested on organ models, and not on humans with a low seat and operating system.

A man metal that is both liquid and solid

The resulting mixture forms what is called a non-Newtonian fluid. It’s a bit like mixing water with starch [de maïs] at home, explains researcher Li Zhang to the Protector. The mixture of the two produces loobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid whose viscosity changes under the effect of drift. When you touch it very quickly, it behaves like a solid. When you touch it gently and slowly, it learns to behave like liquid.

Thanks to this particular ability, the automatic robot can therefore slide in narrow spaces, 1 to 5 millimeters, maneuver in process environments, grab objects, wrap them to transport them, or simply prevent them from being harmful , and even sony ericsson pick up again without any problem when by chance he learned suddenly finds sober pieces.

shape repair slime
Dmonstration de la rcupration de forme pour le slime magntique. Li Zhang et al.

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Sober demonstration of a sober form recovery for magnetic slime. Li Zhang et al.

Sober many medical uses could therefore be made sober. This could mean, for example, reaching for objects swallowed by mistake, or wrapping them around to prevent them from doing damage to the body. Sober apart from its programs in the human body, this little robotic could also replace or repair electronic circuits, since it is a good conductor.

Sil may have direct applications, the interest for researchers remains above all to observe its possibilities. The ultimate goal is to deploy it as software, says Li Zhang, however, admits that their creation lacks that autonomy. We always consider it as basic research. We try to understand its material properties.

Video from New Scientist showing the robot sober activity:

Supply: Advanced Useful Components