Cornell Researchers Create New Material Capable of Shifting States

For all the discussion surrounding artificial intelligence and robots recently, the stiff, dull metal exterior of robots has only recently begun to evolve. While human-like robots, with silicon skin, can simulate emotions but robots with the shape-shifting ability of the Transformers have yet to hit the market. However, Prof. Robert Shepherd, mechanical and aerospace engineering, is developing a material that could soon bring that to reality. Shepherd and his team at  Organic Robotics Lab is working on a metal-rubber composite by harnessing the strength of a metallic alloy and the flexibility of a soft silicone foam. The material can withstanding heavy loads or deform under them upon command.