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Science Technology

First Liquid Machines Presage Soft Robots 42

KentuckyFC writes "The technology behind the T-1000 assassin in the Terminator movies might as well be science fiction as far as modern manufacturing is concerned. But we're making progress — thanks to some work by Chinese engineers who have perfected a way to make liquid metals assume various shapes and switch from one to another with the flick of a switch. These guys placed a thin film of gallium-indium-selenium alloy (melting point 10.5 degrees C) in water and applied an electric field. The balance between the surface tension of the metal and the electric forces on its surface then caused the metal to form a ball. They can move the sphere around, combine it with other spheres, and even use it to rotate the water. The engineers say this is the first step toward smart liquid machines that can assume almost any shape. And since the alloy is biologically benign, these machines could be used with, and even inside humans. Their next goal is to create a set of parallel electrodes that cause the metal to form into an undulating worm-shape that can propel itself along."
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First Liquid Machines Presage Soft Robots

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  • Really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by L1mewater ( 557442 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @12:37PM (#46304797)
    "The technology behind the T-1000 assassin in the Terminator movies might as well be science fiction" Might it? Might it really?
  • by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @01:05PM (#46304975) Homepage

    The time of holographic storage is NOW! Take a hologram, toss it in a filing cabinet, and that cabinet is now holographic storage.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Funny)

    by L1mewater ( 557442 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @01:17PM (#46305049)
    Oh, hi KentuckyFC! Or perhaps Soulskill.

    You probably did not notice it when you were composing or editing the submission, but you wrote that the technology behind the T-1000 "might as well be science fiction." The T-1000 is indeed science fiction.

    Since the phrase "might as well be" is used to describe a situation that is not actually true, but is used in the summary to describe a situation that actually is true, it reads as a quite silly.

    In fact, the first line of your post, "yes, 'really,'" reads as similarly comical because you are also claiming that something that is widely known to be true not actually true, but "might as well be."

    I hope that "clearly delineates" what I was trying to say. I apologize that it was "not obvious" to you, because, in fact, my original intent in posting was in the hopes that those who did not take the time to read the first sixteen words of the summary might notice the humorous mistake.

  • Re:Really? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:32PM (#46305941)

    Afterwards the machines turn us into batteries. Then keanu reeves is born and makes peace with the machines. Then we leave the planet behind in a ship called Galactica to find a new home. The machines stay behind, rename the planet cybertron, and themselves how to turn into cars and trucks. They start fighting with themselves and end up crash landing in new, new, new, new. new, new. new. new, new york and history repeats all over again.

Parts that positively cannot be assembled in improper order will be.