News & Opinion | March 23, 2019 5:00 am

Scientists Have Just Pioneered a Terminator-Like Liquid Metal

Researchers mixed gallium with iron and nickel and then used magnets to reshape the alloy.

Phases of the T-1000 Terminator from the "Terminator 2" movie. (Photo credit: Flickr, Marcin Wichary)
Phases of the T-1000 Terminator from the "Terminator 2" movie. (Photo credit: Flickr, Marcin Wichary)

We’re one step closer to creating the T-1000 robot from Terminator 2: Judgement Day, as scientists have just created a liquid metal that can stretch horizontally and vertically, Fox News reports.

For now, however, the metal can’t morph into the mass murdering cyborg straight out of Sarah Connor’s nightmares.

To accomplish this feat, researchers combined soft metals like gallium—which melts at just under 86 degrees Fahrenheit—with iron or nickel and then used magnets to manipulate the alloy into different shapes and stretch it to nearly four times its original, or resting, length. The researched was published in Applied Materials & Interfaces.

“[T]he vertically stretched MLMD (magnetic liquid metal droplet) can move horizontally with its half body in the solution and the other half in the air, which resembles the nature of an upright walking amphibian,” researchers wrote in the study.

Although we won’t be seeing the T-1000 robot go into production anytime soon, the researchers are hopeful that the findings have the potential to create robots as well as other applications.

“MLMD presents a fundamental and promising platform for the liquid metals to further develop the multi-freedom actuation in free space and eventually lead to the dynamically reconfigurable intelligent and biomimetic soft robots in the future,” the researchers wrote.