A team of scientists at Tsinghua University in China has found a liquid metal alloy with self-propulsion and shape-shifting abilities.

Terminator technology comes to life with surface tension.Source: Business InsiderTerminator technology comes to life with surface tension.Source: Business InsiderThey believe they have created a potential first step towards developing a robot similar to the T-1000 shape-shifting, liquid metal assassin from the Terminator movies, according to Reuters.

The drop of metal alloy consists mostly of gallium, which is liquid at or near-normal room temperature (under 30 degrees Celsius), and is altered in shape with the application of an electrical current.

By changing the voltage applied to the metal, the scientists were able to make the gallium change its shape. Once the current was turned off, the metal went back to its original shape.

The team discovered that if they were to bring the alloy into contact with a flake of aluminum, the reaction allowed the metal to move by itself.

"At present it has potential to become a robot, but a robot for the veins," says Professor Liu Jing. “So apart from a robot for the veins it could for example [be used in] people's windpipes and digestive system, it may perhaps be able to carry out some medical tasks, for example transporting some medicines."

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