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Robotics Technology

Phase-Changing Material Created For Robots 35

Posted by samzenpus
from the bend-it-shape-it dept.
rtoz writes In the movie Terminator 2, the shape-shifting T-1000 robot morphs into a liquid state to squeeze through tight spaces or to repair itself when harmed. Now a phase-changing material built from wax and foam, and capable of switching between hard and soft states, could allow even low-cost robots to perform the same feat. The material developed by MIT researchers could be used to build deformable surgical robots. The robots could move through the body to reach a particular point without damaging any of the organs or vessels along the way. The Robots built from this material could also be used in search-and-rescue operations to squeeze through rubble looking for survivors.
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Phase-Changing Material Created For Robots

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  • LOL ... (Score:4, Funny)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Monday July 14, 2014 @02:34PM (#47450263) Homepage

    and capable of switching between hard and soft states

    Or, as penis implants for old men. ;-)

  • You know... (Score:5, Funny)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Monday July 14, 2014 @02:35PM (#47450265) Homepage

    Just because it was cool in the movie doesn't mean we have to build one.

  • um... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday July 14, 2014 @02:35PM (#47450271)

    um... ok, so its silicone rubber coated in wax. Heat the wax and the silicone can flex because the wax is fluid. Let it cool and the wax hardens. That doesn't sound even remotely durable to me. How is this useful?

    • by pitchpipe (708843)

      um... ok, so its silicone rubber coated in wax. Heat the wax and the silicone can flex because the wax is fluid. Let it cool and the wax hardens. That doesn't sound even remotely durable to me. How is this useful?

      Didn't you watch the video?! It's just like the Terminator! Also, kittens, because they're cute and soft.

      I don't know why everybody has to be so skeptical nowadays.

    • It's a PhD for a student. That's the use.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I think you meant publication and grant-whoring for a professor.

        "... developed by [Professor] Anette Hosoi... and her former graduate student Nadia Cheng, alongside researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and Stony Brook University... working with robotics company Boston Dynamics..."

        oh, shit, Anette is a female name. of course i didn't mean grant-whoring, i meant... uh... grant-solicitation? oh, no, wait, that isn't any better. hmm.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      How is this useful?

      Teledildonics?

    • ... about technology developments.

      But now I realize that 95% of new technology will only help build robotic exoskeletons for the Koch brothers, not help us working schlubs.
    • Re:um... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Monday July 14, 2014 @03:44PM (#47450757)

      One thing I can think of is running wires through tight spaces. Put a small, snake-like "robot" made of this stuff with a camera on one end on a wire and use it to guide the wire through a small hole in the wall or ceiling. Make it deformable to go around corners, and rigid to go up walls. If it's cheap enough, there's plenty of electricians and cable installers who would probably buy one.

      • One thing I can think of is running wires through tight spaces. Put a small, snake-like "robot" made of this stuff with a camera on one end on a wire and use it to guide the wire through a small hole in the wall or ceiling. Make it deformable to go around corners, and rigid to go up walls. If it's cheap enough, there's plenty of electricians and cable installers who would probably buy one.

        Dude, it's paraffin wax. It's "rigid" state is about as strong as... well... wax...

        What your describing has already been solved by this device:
        http://www.delcity.net/store/C... [delcity.net]

        They work fantastically well. I have 2! :-)

    • Of course it's useful, let me introduce you to my "Phase changing candle!"

      In it's liquid/gas state, it burns. When it cools, it becomes a nonvolatile decoration.

  • Deploy or die (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If I had a dime for every one these "researchers made the next big thing" articles I'd use it to fund a web start-up that tracks all these claims so I could watch the PR buzz fizzle into obscurity time after time. The tally so far: solar panels should be 1456% efficient, LEDs 124% efficient, batteries should outperform gas in every metric, the world should be filled nano-tube everything, and robots should be flying all around me at this instant.

    What the headline should say is "University trolls for more fu

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And we'd have our fucking hoverboards.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      News at 10: research is all about discovering/designing the next big thing. It sure would be nice if everything we tried panned out, but surprise surprise, when you're pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and innovation, not everything does.

      So sit back and write your cushy web-apps, secure in your 20-year old stale tech, while those of us who are willing to risk something and look for something new actually do something for real progress.

      "Skeptics of 'the next-big-thing' on slashdot is getting to be an

  • '... I say, when they git ready...... ever hear tell of a shoggoth?"

    Terminator 2? Feh.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_WiShe0NOE
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=wax+motor

    Paraffin wax is a known phase change material used in everything from washing machines, battery thermal management, automobiles, and thermostats. A project which has had moderate success with phase change materials is the Slocum Thermal glider which uses a PCM to harness thermal energy from the ocean.

    OpenGlider V0.1 used 4 silicone bladders full of paraffin wax for both attitude control and a high pressure buoyancy engine. Unfortunatel

  • Yeah, I'm watching the video and so far I'm really not impr - MOUSE!

  • Penis implants, medical devices, search & rescue robots, etc. are all high and noble visions. It seems, however, to be a rather flimsy and unstable material, which will have its future in the making of toys, where it will it end up being a mass product pnly to find its way into a trash bin eventually. Thus will it will not give many old men back their sexuality, nor will it save countless lifes, and the research will have to settle for a less noble vision ... the one which is going to put smiles onto th

  • Call it Transformium! [penny-arcade.com]

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...

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