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Scientists have made the T-1000 Terminator in real life (kind of)

In a move that can surely only end well, scientists have been working on liquid metal robots that eerily replicate the T-1000's move through metal bars.


Artificial intelligence and robot technology is becoming increasingly advanced by the day, and we’re surely nearing ever closer to the kind of dystopian future depicted in robot movies. Scientists seem determined not to heed any of the warnings offered by these movies, and are instead going out of their way to replicate them. And they’ve now basically invented The Terminator, which can only go well, we’re sure.

According to VICE, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have been working on robots that can move between solid and liquid metal states, meaning they can shapeshift, climb, and ooze their way out of a cage between the metal bars – exactly like the T-1000 in the iconic science fiction movie. Fun!

These ‘soft robots’ are controlled by magnetic fields, but have been hard to control before. But a team of engineers has now developed a material made of gallium metal that is embedded with tiny magnetic microparticles. This means that the new robots combine the strength and speed of those made of hard metal, with the morphing adaptability of the liquid phase.

They were also able to make a cute little LEGO movie mini-figure that liquefies itself and moves through the bars of a cage. Though the robot appears to self-coalesce into its original shape on the other side, Majidi clarified that it was manually recast by the team and then put back into the shot.

“It’s almost T-1000-like in the sense that you have that figurine and it melts into a blob, and it gets sucked through those jail bars,” Carmel Majidi said, adding that the assassin android, who is one of the best movie villains ever, served as an inspiration for the robot. We dunno, this seems bad, you guys.

When we interviewed Robert Patrick, he told us that the T-1000 is the best; “Well, Arnold won. But I was the best Terminator. The T-1000 was totally set up to kick his ass. So I had a lot of help with that. But it’s just such a great character, you know, the T-1000 is the best Terminator.”

If you want to be further terrified, check out our guide to the best horror movies.