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Fluid robotics

Magnetaunomous thixotroferrofluidicist, reads the card of a man...
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Atop a puddle of thixotropic [link1]ferrofluid [link2] float several tiny spheres. These spheres contain their own rechargeable power source and are divided into equal quadrants, or dodecadrants or whatever the word is for segmenting a sphere radially, by copper windings which can conduct an alternating current. By remotely controlling both when and which segments receive current the ferrofluid can be made to lift and assume differing shapes, because the ferrofluid is also a thixotropic fluid it will retain this shape if vibrations cease.

By learning to balance the buoyancy of these spheres at various tilts and elevations intricate structures could be formed and then hardened. Self learning robotics programs [link3] would realize shapes and forms of movement we would never be able to think up given our bipedal points of view.


Thixotropy from wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thixotropy
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 11 2010]

Ferrofluid also from wiki. If you haven't seen any ferro fluid videos you've *got* to check them out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrofluid
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 11 2010]

learning algorithms http://www.idsia.ch...learningrobots.html
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 11 2010]

T-1000 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-1000
"A technological leap over the 800 Series ... [8th of 7, Nov 12 2010]

Hutchison effect. http://en.wikipedia...wiki/John_Hutchison
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 07 2010]

[link]






       [+] from me for a truly awesome idea. I love this!   

       There are some very nice Youtube videos of ferrofluid and of thixotropic liquids (the latter sitting on speaker cones) doing elegant things. The combination would have some very interesting properties.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 12 2010
  

       [+] right up 'til the last sentence where you ran the car off the road and into the river to see how long it would take it to start swimming on its own.
FlyingToaster, Nov 12 2010
  

       SkyNet will fund your research.   

       <link>
8th of 7, Nov 12 2010
  

       Somebody should, I sure haven't figured out a way to yet. God it's frustrating!   

       Preferably somebody with a conscience though eh.
I wouldn't want to have to be hunting these things down in my old age. <he says as though he actually thinks he'll make it to old age>
  

       Screw it, I'm giving it a (+) too. I like this one.   

       [+] For the wiki link videos. Amazingly cool!
Boomershine, Nov 14 2010
  

       // hunting these things down in my old age. //   

       <Bryant>   

       "You know the score, pal. You're not cop, you're little people! "   

       </Bryant>   

       We need ya, [2fries].... need the old blade runner, need your magic....
8th of 7, Nov 14 2010
  

       + I nominate 2 Fries for a position in the pantheon of halfbakery gods for this idea.
Zimmy, Dec 03 2010
  

       //It doesn't react to the magnet I held against the can, but that be because it's so diluted in water and other preservatives. Am I eating ferrofluid?//   

       No. A solution of a ferrous compound is not the same as a suspension of iron particles, any more than a whale is like an unfinished.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 03 2010
  

       I am unworthy of the Buntheon...but it is a pretty cool notion though isn't it?
I want to play around with this one almost as much as fulerene fulgurites.
  

       Another thing crossed my mind today. The Hutchison effect, as it applies to using resonance to melt metal, could be used to embed tiny EM resonators within a ferrous material and allow something similar to be done with solid metal itself.   

       I may have figured out why the effect causes levitaion as well, but it hasn't finished percolating yet.   
      
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