The scientific journal Angewandte Chemie published an article by Chinese scientists describing the development of an elastic material capable of responding to external influences. The material’s capabilities were compared to the cloaking capabilities of marine mollusks and molded into a starfish that behaved like a natural “specimen.”
It is reported that the robot reacted to heat and pressure by changing shape, movement, and color change. All this resembles the cloaking abilities of real starfish. Scientists assure that it is possible to cut off a part of the artificial star and later reattach it to the “body”.
The material is based on liquid-crystalline elastomer due to the latter’s peculiarity to change its own phases at changing temperatures. Scientists have already managed to test the technology.
For this purpose, they added a dye to one of the tentacles, which reacts to infrared radiation. As a result, they were able to make the robot star move by compressing and stretching its entire body like a caterpillar.
Scientists plan to achieve a more stable material deformation effect in the future.