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The Magnetic Slime Robot Review Is this the future of Endoscopic Surgery?

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 but also soft enough to go inside the human body. In order to create this flexible stretchy Slime, researcher Lee Zhang says the team decided to make the Robot from a Non-Newtonian fluid. That means the Robot can behave like a solid and a liquid. So that means if you touch the Non-Newtonian fluid with a high speed, they basically show as solid in a solid-state object but if you touch it gently and slowly then behave like liquid.

slime robot in human body photo

You 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 backflips over the same material.

For the Slime Robot, the researchers used Borax a common household cleaner mixed with Polyvinyl 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.

Also Read: Top 5 Most Advanced Futuristic Humanoid Robots

So basically you first use one magnet to anchor the Slime at a certain location and afterwards you can use the other magnet to extend the Robot with a very large deformation towards any angle as you wish and then if you rotate your magnet, basically it behave like a Octopus arm. You know it can wrap up or you know grasp some object with ease and because it's essentially one big pile of Slime, you can cut the Robot into parts and it will self heal.

Sorry, sometimes when I say things like self-healing Octopus are magnetic Slime Robot, I have to remember that this is a real job and I'm not in some sort of parallel universe. What's really cool is the Slime can essentially swallow foreign objects and that's where the amazing medical applications come in. So currently the idea is whether we can use a Slime Robot to encapsulate or swallow some kind of harder material in your stomach. For example the battery, if someone you know swallow the battery by mistake or if there's some kind of very sharp objects, it sounds a bit like a kids game dragging a magnet to guide a ball through a maze. But this kind of research has already been done with magnets guiding capsule-sized endoscopes through the body.

But it's not just medical procedures, the Slime can also conduct electricity. So Zhang says this Robot could also be used to connect wires or even repair circuit boards in hard to reach places. While we might be a while off using Slime for your next surgery, this is a great example of how the basic principles of physics could change the future of Robotics.

Also Read: Top 5 Futuristic Mind-Controlled Prosthetics

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 us know in the comments. Don’t forget to share this super unique post with your friends and family.

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