Scientists Create Liquid Metal That Behaves Like the Terminator T1000

Chinese scientists have managed to create a magnetic liquid metal that can stretch and morph in large scales through three-dimensional space.

Yeah, just like the Terminator T-1000, but without the killing mission. Yet.

Rober Patrick, Terminator 2: Judgment Day Credit: Alamy

(Image credit: Rober Patrick, Terminator 2: Judgment Day Credit: Alamy)

The engineers — working at the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Biomedical Engineering and the Beijing Key Lab of Cryo-Biomedical Engineering and Key Lab of Cryogenics — write in their research paper that their discovery is a “fundamental and promising platform” that can lead to the development of “dynamically reconfigurable intelligent and biomimetic soft robots in the future.”

While the researchers are still far from creating a liquid metal robot that can mimic biological beings, it’s clear that their scientific research is going in that direction.

MORE: 10 Highly Advanced Robots That Will Scare the Crap Out of You

The research paper published on the February 15, 2019 issue of the Applied Materials & Interfaces Journal, describe a mixed material made of iron particles suspended in an alloy of gallium, indium and tin alloy that is immersed in hydrochloric acid.

The gallium oxidizes in the acid, creating a surface tension skin that stops the liquid metal from disintegrating while the scientist use magnets to change its shape in three dimensions.

There is no details about the where this research could go from here, so let’s just ignore all rational and go to bed to have nightmares about how this will eventually combine with artificial intelligence to wipe all human life out of the planet. Science-fiction is a lot more fun when scientists make it a little bit more real every day.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.