Intelligent Liquid Is New Class Of Fluid Created By Harvard Scientists

By TeeJay Small | Published

intelligent liquid

According to a recent write-up in The Debrief, a team of researchers out of Harvard have developed a programmable meta fluid that can change its own viscosity, meaning it can shift between a Newtonian and non-Newtonian state.

This breakthrough, which is being called an intelligent liquid, is intended for use in shock absorbers, programmable robots, and a wide array of practical applications in science and tech.

The smart goop is capable of rearranging its material state based on observed changes of both temperature and pressure, making it the first invention of this kind.

Intelligent Liquid Recipe Under Wraps

intelligent liquid

For now, researchers are keeping their specific recipe for the intelligent liquid under wraps, though the team has been kind enough to provide a detailed explanation of how they pulled this off.

Apparently, the formula begins with a number of elastomer spheres, which range from 50 to 500 microns within the mixture. These spheres are essentially small resin balls that buckle under major changes in pressure, resulting in an adjustment to the liquid’s compression.

Flattens And Reforms

intelligent liquid

To achieve the intelligent liquid’s changing state, engineers fabricated mass quantities of the spheres and suspended them in slick silicon oil, causing the entire mixture to collapse and reform when external pressure increased or decreased.

In layman’s terms, the intelligent liquid is an oil-based silly putty that flattens into a liquid and reforms into a solid based on external factors, allowing the substance to mold itself into the shape of whichever container you place it in.

In this way, the substance is similar to the metal gallium, which has a melting point of only 85.57 Fahrenheit, and melts at the touch of a human hand.

Like The T-1000

intelligent liquid

Due to the shifting state of the liquid, scientists can specifically program changes into the substance that allow the material to change viscosity, opacity, and even its appearance, like that of a T-1000 from the Terminator film franchise.

To demonstrate the intelligent liquid’s programmability, scientists tested the mixture with a hydraulic robot arm and used it to interact with fragile objects like glass bottles and chicken eggs.

Sensing The Density And Fragility?

The liquid was able to sense the density and fragility of these objects, and adjust its grip accordingly to ensure it didn’t shatter the items upon impact.

Typical hydraulic arms need to be specifically programmed to apply the right amount of pressure to lift objects of different densities and fragilities, though the inclusion of the intelligent liquid allows scientists to remove the guesswork from their research.

Thermodynamic Applications?

As research continues on this ground-breaking project, scientists may find even more exciting uses for the unprecedented fluid.

For starters, the team behind the intelligent liquid is investigating thermodynamic properties and acoustic responses in an effort to derive even more possible uses.

Intelligent Liquid And Artificial Intelligence

AI extinction

As science and technology continue to progress, new and exciting discoveries are being made each day.

This intelligent liquid could serve as the next step in crafting robotic sentience that benefits the world at large.

Just be sure to keep it away from artificial intelligence, because we’ve seen enough movies to know how that ends.

Source: The Debrief

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