This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use.

disturbing robotic slime can move around inside the body, pick up objects

Scientists working at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have created something that looks horrifying, and only gets more upsetting when you learn it’s designed to crawl around inside your body. The appropriately named “magnetic slime robot” doesn’t need any internal electronics — it’s a combination of several different materials, allowing it to be controlled with external magnetic fields. The result is a wriggling, brown blob that could one day scoop harmful objects out of the human digestive tract. That should pair nicely with your nanoparticle toothbrush. 

The slime bot has a structural matrix composed of polyvinyl alcohol and borax, which is a common constituent of cleaning products. This mixture is doped with magnetized neodymium particles. That makes the ooze sufficiently magnetic that it can be influenced by other magnets placed outside the body. The researchers, led by Professor Li Zhang, have done laboratory testing that shows how the slime bot could navigate a human stomach and retrieve a potentially dangerous object. 

Since there are no internal electronics, the slime robot can’t operate alone. Doctors would have to use imaging to locate an object and guide the slime to the right location. When it gets there, the team has shown that it can successfully envelop small objects like a coin cell battery. It forms C and O shapes quite easily to ensnare the target. Then, you can simply drag the foreign material out with a magnet. 

According to the researchers, the magnetic slime robot has a consistency like custard, a famously non-Newtonian fluid. That means the ooze behaves differently depending on how much force it encounters. When moving slowly, it flows like a liquid. When struck, dropped, or moving quickly, it behaves more like a solid. It can even merge back together if part of the blob gets separated. 

Neodymium magnets are not a new technology, so why has nobody made a disturbing slime robot before? These particles are potentially toxic to humans, so your first instinct would not be to send them in after another hazardous object. However, the team compensated for this by coating the slime bot with a layer of silica to contain the magnetic particles. Zhang believes it would be safe to send the robot into the body for short periods of time — this is a future topic of study. The team also showed that the slime bot could have other applications. It’s conductive, so it could also slither into tight spaces to reconnect severed wires.

TECH NEWS RELATED

ExpressVPN Launches First Wi-Fi 6 Router with Built-In VPN

The Aircove Wi-Fi 6 router has cleared a full security audit from Cure53 and offers an onboard virtual private network for under $200.

View more: ExpressVPN Launches First Wi-Fi 6 Router with Built-In VPN

French tech company Atos rejects bid interest valued at $4.1 billion for its Evidian arm

ReutersFrench technology consultancy company Atos, whose shares have slumped on scepticism over its restructuring plan, said it had rejected expressions of interest from rival ‘onepoint’ and UK private equity fund ICG in Atos’ Evidian unit.Atos said the company ‘onepoint’ and ICG had sent it an unsolicited letter of intent related ...

View more: French tech company Atos rejects bid interest valued at $4.1 billion for its Evidian arm

New York state to adopt California 2035 EV rules

NYT News ServiceNew York state plans to adopt California’s rules approved in August that would require all new vehicles sold in the state by 2035 to be either electric or plug-in electric hybrids, Governor Kathy Hochul said on Thursday.Hochul said in a statement that she has directed a state environmental ...

View more: New York state to adopt California 2035 EV rules

Study finds law enforcement is hampering harm reduction programs

Negative law enforcement experiences reported by SSP participants. Credit: Harm Reduction Journal (2022). DOI: 10.1186/s12954-022-00690-w In 2016, North Carolina enacted legislation providing legal protections to people who make use of programs designed to reduce harms associated with illegal drug use. However, a new study finds these legal protections are ...

View more: Study finds law enforcement is hampering harm reduction programs

Wildfire smoke exposure hurts learning outcomes

Exposure to fine particle pollution from wildfire smoke during the school day affects average test scores. In this map of the predicted effect on average test scores by district in a relatively high-smoke year, 2016, darker shades indicate a stronger impact. Credit: Nature Sustainability (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41893-022-00956-y When wildfire ...

View more: Wildfire smoke exposure hurts learning outcomes

Making lab-grown brain organoids 'brainier'

Graphical abstract. Credit: Stem Cell Reports (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2022.08.013 By using stem cells to grow miniature brain-like organs in the lab, scientists have opened a new avenue for studies of neurological development, disease and therapies that can’t be conducted in living people. But not all mini–brain organoids are created ...

View more: Making lab-grown brain organoids 'brainier'

Intel Unison Will Let Phone Users Text, Share Files From Their PCs

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. It’s common for people to split their computing between a computer and mobile device, but they don’t always talk to each other as seamlessly as they should. Intel hopes to fix that with its new ...

View more: Intel Unison Will Let Phone Users Text, Share Files From Their PCs

YouTuber Converts Tesla Into Diesel-Powered Vehicle, Leading to an EPA Warning

A YouTuber decided to convert a Tesla into a diesel-powered car. This idea may be quite different from the ongoing trend in the vehicle industry. (Photo : Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) The Tesla Model S Signature is shown during a media preview day at the 2012 North American International ...

View more: YouTuber Converts Tesla Into Diesel-Powered Vehicle, Leading to an EPA Warning

Amazon Opens Pre-Orders For New Products —Updated Pricing, Specs, and More

How to turn off the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island

Hackmanite also changes color upon exposure to nuclear radiation: Memory trace enables new applications

'Sad and distressing': Massive numbers of bird deaths in Australian heat waves reveal a profound loss is looming

Hybrid work creating disconnect between employees, leaders: Microsoft survey

Robotaxi Developer Pony AI Is Coming to Arizona

Brand-New Quantum Computing System Developed For More Effective 'Erasure Error' Corrections

Listening to the song of melting glaciers

NASA spacecraft buzzes Jupiter moon Europa, closest in years

Rover findings offer glimpse of Red Planet's ancient landscape

Magpies, curlews, peregrine falcons: How birds adapt to our cities, bringing wonder and joy and conflict

Nothing Ear (stick) design revealed, Phone (1) new update brings camera improvements

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News