More than 30 years ago, in 1991, came out Terminator 2: Precisely Last. This science fiction film directed by James Cameron, tells of the 1990s that are very different from those we have known. In 1997, a “nuclear holocaust” decimated humanity – and brought about the advent of intelligent robots.

The computer that controls all these machines, Skynet, sends a killer cyborg, a “Terminator” in 1984 with the mission to kill Sarah Connor, who, she does not know it yet, will become the mother of John Connor, hero who will become leader resistance against machines. The plan fails, and so Skynet decides to take out John Connor directly in 1995 – with a new, more advanced Terminator, the T-1000.

Scientists Invent Terminator T-1000 Technology With Robot That Becomes Liquid

This one has a scary feature: it’s made of a new alloy that makes it able to liquefy to blend into objects or pass obstacles, including prison gates – when it’s not about deforming and rebuild itself after the impact of a weapon. However, researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong announce in a scientific paper that they have developed a robot that is very reminiscent of the T-1000.

Not that it is controlled by Skynet or programmed to kill John Connor – fortunately the goal of the researchers is not to design a robot-killer, but rather new techniques for the medical world. Their robot can indeed also liquefy itself, and thus escape from a prison.

To achieve this result, the researchers integrated magnetic particles into a material, in this case gallium. Gallium goes from a solid state to a liquid state around 30°C, which makes it ideal. Thus by applying a magnetic induction field, the material heats up, which allows it to melt quite easily. The particles also make it possible to move the assembly out of the cage.

Researchers can then let the gallium “blob” doped with magnetic particles cool and solidify. Because for now, this little robot of a new kind needs a mold to regain its original shape. “We are positioning this system for practical use cases to solve very specific medical and engineering problems.”

In their paper, published in Matter, the scientists show that their robot can solder circuits, deliver drugs, and even help a foreign body leave the digestive tract.

The researchers believe above all that their technology has a medical interest. But they also imagine that their robot will one day facilitate repairs in spaces that are difficult for a human to reach. The solution can for example make it possible to create a kind of universal screwdriver: the head of the accessory would only have to melt directly on the screw allowing to screw/unscrew whatever the type.

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