Connect with us


These shape-changing devices melt and reshape thanks to magnetic fields


Shape-shifting liquid metal robots may no longer be just science fiction.

The miniature machines can switch from solid to liquid and vice versa to squeeze into tight spaces and perform tasks like soldering circuit boards, researchers reported in Matter on Jan. 25. .

Metallic gallium owes this phase-shifting property, which can be controlled remotely with a magnetic field. Researchers embedded magnetic particles in the metal to direct the movement of the metal with a magnet. This new material could help scientists develop flexible, pliable robots that can navigate through narrow passages and be guided from the outside.

Science news headlines in your inbox

Headlines and summaries of the latest Science News articles. Delivered to your email inbox every Thursday.

Thank you for signing up!

A problem occurred while signing up.

Scientists have been developing magnetically controlled soft robots for years. Most existing materials for these bots are made of stretchy but solid materials that cannot pass through the tightest spaces, or magnetic liquids that are fluid but incapable of carrying heavy objects (SN: 7/ 18/19).

In a new study, researchers blended both approaches after taking inspiration from nature (SN: 3/3/21). A sea cucumber, for example, can change its hardness very rapidly and reversibly, says Carmel He Majidi, a mechanical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Our challenge as engineers is to mimic that in soft material systems.

So the team turned to gallium, a metal that melts just 30 degrees Celsius above room temperature. Rather than connecting a heater to a mass of metal to change its state, the researchers exposed it to a rapidly changing magnetic field causing it to liquefy. An alternating magnetic field creates electricity in the gallium, which heats and melts it. The material re-solidifies when allowed to cool to room temperature.

Magnetic particles are scattered throughout the gallium so that a permanent magnet can drag it along. For solids, a magnet can move matter at a speed of about 1.5 meters per second. Upgraded gallium can also carry about 10,000 times its weight.

External magnets can manipulate liquid shapes to stretch, split, and coalesce. However, controlling fluid movement is more difficult. This is because the particles in gallium rotate freely and the magnetic poles are misaligned as a result of melting. Due to the different orientations, the particles move in different directions in response to the magnet.

Majidi and colleagues tested the strategy on small machines performing a variety of tasks. In a demonstration for the movie “Terminator 2,” a toy person escaped from a prison cell, melted a bar, and re-solidified it back to its original shape using a mold placed just outside the bar.

Subscribe to Science News

Get great science journalism from the most trusted sources and delivered to your doorstep.

On the more practical side, one machine took a small ball out of a model of the human stomach, melted slightly to envelop the foreign body, and eject it from the organ. Therefore, it becomes mucus inside the actual human body. Raises the melting point of the material, the authors say. In another demonstration, the material was liquefied and re-cured for soldering circuit boards.

With the help of variable permanent magnets, researchers turned gallium chunks into shape-changing devices. In the first clip, a toy figure escapes from a prison cell by liquefying, sliding down a bar, and re-solidifying using a mold placed just outside the bar. In the second clip, one device takes a ball out of a model of the human stomach, which melts slightly, envelops the foreign body, and is expelled from the organ.

The phase-shifting material is a big step in the field, but questions remain about its biomedical application, said Amir Jafari, a biomedical engineer at the University of North Texas in Denton. He was not involved in this research. According to him, one of his major challenges is to precisely control the magnetic forces inside the human body generated from external devices.

It’s an intriguing tool, says Nicholas Vila, a robotics engineer at Harvard University. But scientists working on soft robotics are constantly creating new materials, he adds.

The real innovation lies in combining these different and innovative materials.




The mention sources can contact us to remove/changing this article

What Are The Main Benefits Of Comparing Car Insurance Quotes Online

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 24, 2020, / Compare-autoinsurance.Org has launched a new blog post that presents the main benefits of comparing multiple car insurance quotes. For more info and free online quotes, please visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/the-advantages-of-comparing-prices-with-car-insurance-quotes-online/ The modern society has numerous technological advantages. One important advantage is the speed at which information is sent and received. With the help of the internet, the shopping habits of many persons have drastically changed. The car insurance industry hasn't remained untouched by these changes. On the internet, drivers can compare insurance prices and find out which sellers have the best offers. View photos The advantages of comparing online car insurance quotes are the following: Online quotes can be obtained from anywhere and at any time. Unlike physical insurance agencies, websites don't have a specific schedule and they are available at any time. Drivers that have busy working schedules, can compare quotes from anywhere and at any time, even at midnight. Multiple choices. Almost all insurance providers, no matter if they are well-known brands or just local insurers, have an online presence. Online quotes will allow policyholders the chance to discover multiple insurance companies and check their prices. Drivers are no longer required to get quotes from just a few known insurance companies. Also, local and regional insurers can provide lower insurance rates for the same services. Accurate insurance estimates. Online quotes can only be accurate if the customers provide accurate and real info about their car models and driving history. Lying about past driving incidents can make the price estimates to be lower, but when dealing with an insurance company lying to them is useless. Usually, insurance companies will do research about a potential customer before granting him coverage. Online quotes can be sorted easily. Although drivers are recommended to not choose a policy just based on its price, drivers can easily sort quotes by insurance price. Using brokerage websites will allow drivers to get quotes from multiple insurers, thus making the comparison faster and easier. For additional info, money-saving tips, and free car insurance quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ Compare-autoinsurance.Org is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc. "Online quotes can easily help drivers obtain better car insurance deals. All they have to do is to complete an online form with accurate and real info, then compare prices", said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of Internet Marketing Company. CONTACT: Company Name: Internet Marketing CompanyPerson for contact Name: Gurgu CPhone Number: (818) 359-3898Email: [email protected]: https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ SOURCE: Compare-autoinsurance.Org View source version on accesswire.Com:https://www.Accesswire.Com/595055/What-Are-The-Main-Benefits-Of-Comparing-Car-Insurance-Quotes-Online View photos


to request, modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]