The T-1000 in Terminator 2 is pretty much nightmare fuel. Created by Skynet, the android is able to blend in with its surroundings by taking the appearance of objects or even actual human beings thanks to being made of a liquid metal with nanorobotics that allows it to, essentially, high-tech shapeshift. Now, that shape-shifting liquid metal is making the leap from nightmarish movie element to reality.
As reported by The New York Post, researchers have actually created a "Terminator-like" liquid metal that can be stretched both horizontally and vertically and, more than that, can also change shapes entirely. A study about the substance was published in Applied Materials and Interfaces and explains that certain liquid metals -- namely gallium -- can be mixed with nickel or iron to create a substance that can be manipulated with magnets.
“Moreover, the vertically stretched MLMD (magnetic liquid metal droplet) can move horizontally with its half body in the solution and the other half in the air, which resembles the nature of an upright walking amphibian,” the researchers wrote in the study’s abstract.
As creepy as that sounds, it's actually not the first time that malleable liquid metals have been created, though previous attempts had significant limitations, such as only being able to stretch horizontally and having to be kept in water to keep them liquid. This latest breakthrough then represents an advancement in the overall research, but we're still a long way off from this new stretchable metal giving way to real life T-1000s.
“MLMD presents a fundamental and promising platform for the liquid metals to further develop the multi-freedom actuation in free space and eventually lead to the dynamically reconfigurable intelligent and biomimetic soft robots in the future,” the researchers wrote.
That's good news for those of us living in reality and also good news for fans of the Terminator franchise, the upcoming soft reboot film finally has an officially confirmed title.
The upcoming Terminator 6 will officially be called Terminator: Dark Fate, a name that has been rumored for months but was recently confirmed by Deadline. The name "Dark Fate" will get fans of the franchise buzzing with speculation. Terminator's time-travel plotline has always been centered around the theme of "no fate," as in "no fate but the one we make." It was what allowed Kyle Reese and later Sarah Connor to fight against such impossible odds to change the timeline and mankind's Judgment Day in Cameron's first two Terminator films.
Like so much of the core franchise, that theme got lost in later sequels; the switch to "Dark Fate" makes it seem like humanity now has less option about the future it's creating: it sounds almost like self-destruction has been determined as the inevitable path of our existence, with the machines being our natural successors.
Let's just hope that dark fate didn't start with a cool lab experiment about liquid metal.
Terminator: Dark Fate hits theaters on November 1st.
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