The new robot is made of metal and can both melt into a liquid and turn back into a solid on command.
One of the most chilling scenes in the iconic 90s action movie ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ is the part where the T-1000 literally melts through a solid prison door to continue its pursuit.
Now scientists have created a real-life robot that can actually do the same thing – a shape-shifting contraption capable of melting, passing through a narrow space, then turning back into a solid.
To achieve this, the researchers combined magnetic neodymium, boron and iron with liquid gallium and then left the robot to solidify into a humanoid shape (albeit on a small scale).
By using magnets, the robot could then be commanded to melt and resolidify on demand.
To demonstrate the process, the scientists filmed a short sequence of the robot melting down to pass through the bars of a miniature prison door, just like in the movie, before turning back into a solid on the other side.
“The magnetic particles here have two roles,” said senior author Carmel Majidi.
“One is that they make the material responsive to an alternating magnetic field, so you can, through induction, heat up the material and cause the phase change. But the magnetic particles also give the robots mobility and the ability to move in response to the magnetic field.”
Could this be the beginnings of a real-life T-1000 ?
Only time will tell.