Check out the Programmable Shape-shifting Metal
Scientists at the University of Sussex and Swansea University have created a programmable, shape-shifting metal. Sounds unreal? The unreal sounding breakthrough is very real! Scientists use electrical charges, apply to liquid metal, and coax it into 3D shapes. This new, extremely promising material can be programmed to alter its shape.
Electric fields are used to shape the liquid and the areas are created using a computer so both the position of the metal and it’s form can be manipulated dynamically.
Professor Sriram Subramanian, head of the INTERACT Lab at the University of Sussex stated, “Liquid metals are an extremely promising class of materials for deformable applications; their unique properties include voltage-controlled surface tension, high liquid-state conductivity and liquid-solid phase transition at room temperature. One of the long-term visions of us and many other researchers is to change the physical shape, appearance, and functionality of any object through digital control to create intelligent, dexterous and useful objects that exceed the functionality of any current display or robot.”
Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University have also created a new metal alloy by marrying indium and gallium. The metal alloy exists in a liquid state at room temperature and can capacitate liquid metal transistors, flexible circuitry, and hopefully self-repair circuits in the future.
These new molten metals, which are being referred to as “electronic blood”, have the potential to completely change computing to generations to come. IBM has also joined in the development of electric sustenance with is REPCOOL or Redox flow electrochemistry that is used for power delivery and cooling. The project is based on the structure and power supply of the brain where the blood capillary system cools and supplies energy to the organ. They believe that in using electronic blood, the same effect can be applied to overheated computers.
The first applications of Electronic Blood are expected to take place in 2030.
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