A shape-shifting robot that can liquefy itself and then reform itself again looks like something straight out of the Terminator movies.
The formidable machine can escape from a cage and then regroup on the other side of the bars.
The engineering team was inspired by the sea cucumber when designing the miniature robots.
They tested the robots by making them jump channels, climb walls, and even split them in half to bring other objects together before putting them back together.
The team also used the robots to remove a foreign object from a model stomach and deliver drugs into the same stomach if necessary.
Lead author Professor Carmel Majidi, a mechanical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University in Canada, said: “The magnetic particles here have two roles.
“One is that they make the material react to an alternating magnetic field, so you can inductively heat 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.”
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