New Metal Motor could help Develop Terminator-like Robot

New Metal Motor could help Develop Terminator-like Robot

Researchers have recently developed a self-propelled liquid metal motor that could give rise to the creation of a robot like T-1000, the robot seen in Hollywood movie Terminator 2. The first liquid metal robot of the world was developed by researchers from the Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The unique features of the robot include its ability to power itself and change shapes.

"The soft machine looks rather intelligent and [can] deform itself according to the space it voyages in, just like [the] Terminator does from the science-fiction film. These unusual behaviors perfectly resemble the living organisms in nature", said Jing Liu at the Tsinghua University.

The creators of the metal motor brought into use galinstan, an alloy of gallium. They chose gallium for developing the motor because its melting point is 29.76 degrees Celsius, or 85.57 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the scientists, galinstan is made by using 68.5% gallium, 10% tin and 21.5% indium. The melting point of the alloy is just 19 degrees Celsius, meaning galinstan acquires a liquid form when at room temperature.

The scientists discovered the liquid metal moves on its own for about 30 minutes after a drop of the metal alloy is put in a solution of sodium hydroxide and left in connection with an aluminum flake. The flake serves purpose of fuel for the alloy.

The research team is confident that the alloy can help develop several applications in a wide range of fields, like making it possible to move liquid through a cooling device without the requirement of an external source of power.

According to Liu, the alloy could be used to develop a robot that can be deployed for monitoring the environment. The gallium alloy can form complex shapes with the help of electric current, added Liu.