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Chameleon-Like Camouflage Made for Soft Robot


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A lizard blending in with its surroundings.

Seung Hwan Ko of Seoul National University the eventual application of the technology would probably be as camouflage, adding that it also could be used for "cosmetic" purposes.

Credit: Getty Images

Researchers at Seoul National University in South Korea have developed a soft-robot with skin that can change color to match its background.

The robot's skin was created using thermochromic liquid crystal ink, which changes color with temperature, and silver nanowire heaters.

The researchers said the speed of the color changes was "comparable to the physiological color change found in animals."

The robot has color sensors beneath its skin and can respond to the surface it crosses, but cannot mimic the patterns of complex backgrounds. Rather, it has a range of pre-programmed patterns which help it to blend in.

Researcher Seung Hwan Ko said the technology could be used for clothing that changes colors and patterns according to the wearer's tastes, or to create military camouflage.

From BBC News (08/11/21)
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