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Pentagon develops a flexible, self-camouflaging ‘Squid-bot’

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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.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump promises vets he won’t use his campaign slogan — then blurts it out seconds later

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While talking with veterans on Wednesday, President Donald Trump vowed that he would not politicize the event by reciting his 2020 campaign slogan -- and then did it anyway just seconds later.

While addressing the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the president made light of the fact that he was not supposed to be using his speech to promote his reelection campaign and was only there to talk about his administration's work on behalf of veterans.

"In all things, we are putting our country first," the president said. "We are saying, let’s say 'Make America great again,' but we are almost there, 'Make America great again.' We may have to switch it. You know what we’re going to switch it to? Huh? Yeah? That is right. I will not say it here, because this is not a campaign speech."

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Eugene Robinson stunned by Trump’s rant: No ‘responsible’ world leader can trust a self-proclaimed ‘chosen one’

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Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson on Wednesday reacted to President Donald Trump's assertion that he is "the chosen one."

Trump made the remarks while taking questions on the White House lawn on Wednesday. The president suggested that he is "the chosen one" to take on China because he was elected by the American people.

Robinson suggested that Trump had undermined his own negotiating position.

"You get to the point where he looks at the sky and says I'm the chosen one," Robinson said following Trump's remarks. "You get to that point and you cannot -- I don't see how any responsible leader could say this is a guy I could count on."

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‘That was anti-Semitism!’ ADL leader rips Trump apart on CNN over ‘disloyalty’ smear of US Jews

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President Donald Trump's accusation that American Jews who vote for Democrats are somehow "disloyal" earned him a furious denunciation on CNN Wednesday from Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

During an interview with CNN's Jim Sciutto, Greenblatt was asked about Trump’s declaration that "any Jewish people" who vote for Democrats have "a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

Greenblatt did not hold back in his disgust about what the president said.

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