Slime Robot Can Help Save Lives

By Stephen M

Technology has reached a new high level making things previously thought to be impossible now possible. Scientists have built a magnetic slime robot able to move through narrow spaces, attract objects, and fix broken circuits. With these qualities, it is possible to deploy the robot in the human body for retrieval duties.

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Although there are fluid-based robots that can navigate tight spaces and elastic robots able to manipulate objects, one that has both qualities is uncommon. This makes the new development good news for all fields, especially the health sector. When fully operational, it could be used to retrieve objects accidentally swallowed, among other tasks.

Image Courtesy of New Scientist/YouTube

The building process

In creating this slime robot, Professor Li Zhang and his colleagues at the University of Hong Kong mixed neodymium magnet particles with borax and polyvinyl alcohol. The result was a slime that can be controlled. The slime can change into different shapes depending on the surface it is traveling.

In an interview with the Guardian, Prof. Zang said that the foremost objective of his creation is to use it as a robot. Nonetheless, the research is still essential in other aspects. The fact that the material can act as a liquid or a solid is certainly worth researching, according to the professor.

Dr. Karan Raj shared a video of the creation on TikTok, which has since gone viral. Speaking on it, he mentioned that the invention has a creamy texture, which is why it can make its way through thin areas. Dr. Raj said that a magnet guides the slime robot so that it can get to things within reach and seize them. The creation is so unique that “it can even be damaged, destroyed and cut, and demonstrate self-healing properties,” he added.