Magnetic Slime Robot Magnetism
Scientists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have created a bizarre magnetic slime robot designed to retrieve objects that have been accidentally swallowed, but unfortunately, won’t turn you into Marvel’s Venom. Put simply, this magnetic slime is capable of encircling smaller objects, self-healing and shape-shifting to squeeze through narrow spaces. It’s controlled by magnets, while also being a good electrical conductor, which means it can be used to interconnect electrodes.

For use in humans, the magnetic slime’s neodymium particles can be coated with silicon before entering the digestive track. That’s right, the slime contains magnetic particles so that it can be quickly manipulated to travel, rotate, or form O and C shapes when external magnets are applied to it. Whether it be a small battery or other object, the slime can then safely and easily exit the other side.

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The ultimate goal is to deploy it like a robot. We still consider it as fundamental research – trying to understand its material properties. It’s very much like mixing water with [corn] starch at home. When you touch it very quickly it behaves like a solid. When you touch it gently and slowly it behaves like a liquid,” said Prof Li Zhang, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who co-created the slime.

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