Slime that can be controlled by a magnetic field can navigate tight spaces and grasp objects, making it ideal for possible uses inside the body
31 March 2022
A robot made of magnetic slime with a custard-like consistency can navigate narrow passages, grasp objects and fix broken circuits. It could be deployed inside the body to perform tasks such as retrieving objects swallowed by accident.
Elastic robots capable of manipulating objects and fluid-based robots that can navigate tight spaces both already exist, but robots combining both properties are less common.
Li Zhang at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and his colleagues mixed neodymium magnet particles with borax, a common household detergent, and polyvinyl alcohol, a kind of resin, to form a slime that can be controlled …