This Magnetic Slime Robot Could Be the Future of Noninvasive Surgery
4:15

This Magnetic Slime Robot Could Be the Future of Noninvasive Surgery

Tech
Speaker 1: I have two words for you, slime robot. It might look like an alien from a sci-fi movie, but this magnetic slime could be the future of robotics. And it might even go inside your body. The reconfigurable magnetic slime robot was created by a team of researchers at the Chinese university of Hong Kong. The goal was to make a small, soft bodied robot that could be solid enough to grab objects, [00:00:30] but also soft enough to go inside the human body in order to create this flexible stretchy slime research lesion says the team decided to make the robot from a on Newtonian fluid. That means the robot can behave like a solid and a liquid. Speaker 2: So that means if you touch the non Newtonian fluid with a high speed, they basically show as, uh, solid, you know, solid state object. But if you touch gently and slowly, then behave [00:01:00] like liquid, Speaker 1: You can can actually make your own non-Newtonian fluid at home really easily using cornstarch and water back in 2014, a group of mechanical engineering students at Lamar university in Texas posted this video where they made an entire pool of this homemade non-Newtonian fluid using 2000 pounds of cornstarch, proving that yes, you can both sink into and do back flips over the same material for the slime robot. [00:01:30] The researchers used borax, a common household cleaner mixed with poly vinyl, alcohol, or PVA, but they also added tiny magnetic particles that allow the fluid to be controlled by magnets. And that's where the robotic element comes in. The researchers can drag the slime with a single magnet or use two magnets to stretch it and even wrap it around objects, kind of like an octopus. Speaker 2: So basically you first use a one magnet to anchor, [00:02:00] you know, this slime at a certain location. And after was, you can use the other magnet to extend, you know, this, uh, robot with a very large deformation, you know, towards any angle as you wish. And then if you rotate your magnet, then basically it behave like, uh, octopus arm, you know, it can wrap up or, you know, grasp some object. You always ease. Speaker 1: And because it's essentially one big pile of slime, you can cut the robot [00:02:30] into parts and it will self heal. Sorry. Sometimes when I say things like self-healing octopus, arm, magnetic slime robot, I have to remember that this is a real job and I'm not in some sort of parallel universe. What really cool is the slime can essentially swallow foreign objects and that's where the amazing medical applications come in. Speaker 2: So currently his idea is whether we can use a slime robot to encapsulate or swallow some kind of OUS material in [00:03:00] your storm mark, or maybe in your, you know, small interest team. For example, the battery, if someone, you know, swallow the battery by mistake, or if there's some kind of very sharp objects, Speaker 1: It sounds a bit like a kid's game dragging a magnet to guide a ball through a maze. But this kind of research has all already been done with magnets, guiding capsule size endoscopes through the body, but it's not just medical procedures. The slime can also conduct electricity. Soun [00:03:30] says this robot could also be used to connect wires or even repair circuit boards in hard tore places. While we might be a love using slime for your next surgery. This is a great example of how the basic principles of physics could change the future of robotics. But what do you think is this slime robot super cool, or does it still kind of remind you of a sci-fi movie? Let me know in the comments, in the meantime, I'm Claire Riley for what the future bringing you the world of two [00:04:00] today, I was just thinking that this slime robot would've been really useful when my dog swallowed a rock and we had to spend $5,000 on an endoscopic endoscopy.

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