Scientists in the United States on Thursday said they had devised a rubbery robot, inspired by the squid and octopus, which can crawl, camouflage itself and hide from infrared cameras.
The Pentagon-backed gadget is the latest type of a so-called soft machine, meaning silicone-based robots that are made from squidgy, translucent polymers.
The prototype incorporates a thin sheet of special silicone with microscopic channels through which coloured fluids are pumped so that the robot’s “skin” mimicks the colours and patterns of the surrounding environment.
By pumping heated or cooled liquids into the microchannels, the researchers can also mask the robot thermally so that its infrared signature does not stand out against a cold or hot background.
The prototype is a four-legged entity, 13 centimetres (5.2 inches) long.
Its limbs are splayed out in the form of an X and, using compressed air, flex like a child’s toy, enabling the little machine to crawl forward with a lurching left-right movement.
“When we began working on soft robots, we were inspired by soft organisms, including octopi and squid,” Stephen Morin, a specialist in chemical biology at Harvard University, said in a press release.
“One of the fascinating characteristics of these animals is their ability to control their appearance, and that inspired us to take this idea further and explore dynamic colouration.”
Morin added: “Even when using simple systems — in this case we have simple, open-ended micro-channels — you can achieve a great deal in terms of your ability to camouflage an object, or to display where an object is.”
The research is published in the US journal Science.
Its financial backers were the US Department of Energy and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which supports research into innovative technology with military potential.
This video was uploaded to YouTube by AFP on August 17, 2012.
Matt Gaetz forgot which network he was on: Surprised CNN anchor said ‘I’ve never been called Sean Hannity’
Rep. Matt Gaetz seemed to confuse cable news networks during a Thursday appearance
Gaetz was interviewed by CNN's Chris Cuomo, who aggressively challenged Gaetz on the facts as the Florida Republican attempted to defend President Donald Trump.
Despite the fact Cuomo's interview was nothing like the puff segments Gaetz is used to on Fox, the congressman seemed confused by the end.
"Congressman, you are always welcome, wherever I am, at nine or eleven, whenever," Cuomo said.
"Thanks Sean," Gaetz replied.
"Did you just call me Sean?" Cuomo asked. "Did you just call me Sean?"
Internet debates ‘the dumbest thing Brian Kilmeade has ever said’
Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade has received a great deal of attention -- and criticism -- during the Trump era.
Kilmeade co-hosts one of the President's favorite shows, "Fox and Friends," with Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt on weekday mornings. He also a show on the Fox News Radio network and frequently appears on "The Five."
The former Ultimate Fighting Championship play-by-play sportscaster has also been harshly criticized for the type of comments that make the show a favorite for the president.
Journalist Molly Jong-Fast, who was widely praised her interview of Lisa Page, decided to explore Kilmeade's comments.
Giuliani’s potential witness tampering in Ukraine is impossible to separate from Trump: Judiciary Democrat
On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) broke down how Rudy Giuliani's misconduct in Ukraine is "inseparable" from President Donald Trump's.
"To everyone who asks whether we are moving too quickly, I say the president's lawyer is moving quickly to continue to ask a foreign government to cheat our elections, and doing nothing is completely off the table," said Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, the two most crucial committees in the impeachment inquiry. "We have to secure our elections. We have powerful, uncontradicted evidence now. And now is the time to hold the president accountable and determine just which impeachment articles we should proceed with."