Someone made a T-1000 in real life (sort of)

With the rapidly evolving artificial intelligence landscape, most of us have been joking about SkyNet coming up for too long. It turns out that some of the terminator franchise may already be out there. Last month, a group of scientists revealed they’ve succeeded in creating a “liquid metal” robot reminiscent of Valve 2T-100 villain played by Robert Patrick.

Using magnetic fields to control the machines of the “robot,” which is small enough to be a LEGO minifigure, researchers shared a video in which they were able to move the figure through a cage due to its elasticity.

“People have been working on these small-scale, magnetically responsive robots and machines for quite some time,” researcher Carmel Majidi said in an interview with SHAME. “At the same time, my group has pioneered many techniques using liquid metals — metals such as gallium that have a very low melting point.”

He added: “This is one of the attempts to put these two approaches together and just see what happens when you start combining these two. The hope was for a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario where we could take advantage of the high electrical conductivity and phase-change capabilities of the gallium metal with the magnetic responsiveness of magnetic microparticle systems.”

So yes… a version of the T-100 is here and all it took was a bit of gallium, some magnetic microparticles and a cage stuck in a magnetic field.

“If you have a metal that’s in the presence of an alternating magnetic field, we just know from the fundamental principles of electromagnetism that that essentially causes electrical current to flow spontaneously through that metal,” the researcher explains. “It’s that spontaneous electric current that heats and melts the metal.”

The researchers hope the new technology has many applications in various industries, including biomedicine, where it could be used to deliver drugs to specific organs.

“I didn’t think there were so many different responses and possibilities of these material systems. That really stood out as quite surprising and also exciting about this material,” Majidi concluded.

You can see the robot in action here.

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