Scientists created a robot that is able to change between liquid and solid states. The technology was tested on an obstacle course, where it was observed transitioning states in order to retrieve objects. The robot was created in part by magnetic particles that were inserted into liquid metal and therefore manipulate the physical state.
From The Daily Wire:
“The magnetic particles here have two roles,” says Carmel Majidi of Carnegie Mellon University, senior author and mechanical engineer in the experiment. “One is that they make the material responsive to an alternating magnetic field, so you can, through induction, heat up the material and cause the phase change. But the magnetic particles also give the robots mobility and the ability to move in response to the magnetic field.” Gallium was the perfect metal for this experiment, researchers found, because of its low melting point, which is around 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The authors describe the metal as having “high mechanical strength, high load capacity, and fast locomotion speed in the solid phase with excellent morphological adaptability (elongation, splitting, and merging) in the liquid phase.”