Using robotics and material technology, Japanese researchers at Keio University create a programmable material.

Rearchers led by Akira Wakita at Keio University, a lab in Japan dedicated to metamorphic structures, have created a unique material that shapes itself according to a program. To clarify the vision of the lab, their website mentions:

Our vision is to generate the totally new world in which, products lithely react to environmental changes, products create the cosmos through the movement, and products live in symbiotic relationship with human beings.

Guided by such a vision, Blob motility is made of electromagnets or “pBlob”, a fluid that reacts to a magnetic field due to its own magnetic properties. It sits on a magnetized floor which allows researchers to control the magnetic gel and composition of the blob. It has many possible transformations including dividing, uniting, form translation, and also responds to external stimuli.

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