Meet squid-bot, a robot that camouflages itself
PARIS, Aug 16, 2012 (AFP) - Scientists in the United States (US) on Thursday said they had devised a rubbery robot, inspired by the squid and octopus, which can crawl, camouflage itself and hide from infrared cameras.
The Pentagon-backed gadget is the latest type of a so-called soft machine, meaning silicone-based robots that are made from squidgy, translucent polymers.
The prototype incorporates a thin sheet of special silicone with microscopic channels through which coloured fluids are pumped so that the robot's "skin" mimicks the colours and patterns of the surrounding environment.
By pumping heated or cooled liquids into the microchannels, the researchers can also mask the robot thermally so that its infrared signature does not stand out against a cold or hot background.