Scientist Have Created Programmable Shape – Shifting Liquid Metal

The University of Sussex and Swansea University recently has done big research that led to applying electrical charges in order to manipulate liquid metal into some 2D shapes, for example heart or letters.

The crew says that what they have found is actually an ‘extremely promising’ new class of materials that allow to be programmed to change various shapes which opens tons of new possibilities in the field of ‘soft robotics’ and shape changing displays.

Even if this invention maybe will remind you of the movie Terminator 2 (in which there is a villain that morphs out of the pool of metal), still – the creation of 3D shapes sounds far away.

One of the research associates that put a lot of work into this named Yutaka Tokuda says: “This is a new class of programmable materials in a liquid state which can dynamically transform from a simple droplet shape to many other complex geometry in a controllable manner.”

“While this work is in its early stages, the compelling evidence of detailed 2D control of liquid materials excites us to explore more potential applications on computer graphics, smart electronics, flexible displays and soft robotics.”

This electric fields are created by a computer, which means that the liquid metal, its position and shape can be relatively easy controlled and programmed dynamically.

Professor Sriram Subramanian – the head executive of INTERACT Lab at the University of Sussex said: “The unique properties of this new class of materials include voltage controlled surface tension, high liquid-state conductivity and liquid-solid phase transition at room temperature”

This researched was aired and presented on 17th of October on the conference in Brighton – ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces 2017.


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