Researchers have developed self-destructing robots that can transform themselves into a puddle of goo when needed. These robots were designed to perform tasks and then dismantle themselves when no longer required, mimicking a form of “robotic death.”
The self-destructing robot measures just 1.2 inches in length and can initiate its self-destruction process using internal ultraviolet LEDs — These LEDs destabilize the robot’s chemical composition, causing it to melt into a goo-like substance. The body is constructed using a mixture of diphenyliodonium hexafluorophosphate and silicone resin, creating a material that is both rigid enough to function and soft enough to liquefy when exposed to ultraviolet light:
The research behind these self-destructing robots was published in the journal Science Advances on August 25. The technology has various potential applications, such as in situations where a robot needs to perform a task and then disappear or self-destruct to avoid capture or leave no trace.
The concept of self-destructing robots draws parallels to science fiction, particularly the Terminator series, where machines are designed to self-destruct to prevent falling into the wrong hands. While this technology is in its early stages and primarily serves as a proof of concept, it could have practical applications in fields such as espionage, surveillance, and environmental monitoring.
The development of such robots represents an intriguing advancement in the field of robotics, showcasing the potential for robots to adapt to various scenarios and perform tasks with a built-in mechanism for self-destruction, ensuring they do not leave any physical trace behind after completing their missions.