While the
invention might bring to mind the film Terminator 2, in which the villain
morphs out of a pool of liquid metal, the creation of 3D shapes is still some
way off. More immediate applications could include reprogrammable circuit
boards and conductive ink.

Yutaka
Tokuda, the Research Associate working on this project at the University of
Sussex, says:

“This is a
new class of programmable materials in a liquid state which can dynamically
transform from a simple droplet shape to many other complex geometry in a
controllable manner. While this work is in its early stages, the compelling
evidence of detailed 2D control of liquid metals excites us to explore more
potential applications in computer graphics, smart electronics, soft robotics
and flexible displays.”

The electric
fields used to shape the liquid are created by a computer, meaning that the
position and shape of the liquid metal can be programmed and controlled
dynamically.

Professor
Sriram Subramanian, head of the INTERACT Lab at the University of Sussex, said:

“Liquid
metals are an extremely promising class of materials for deformable
applications; their unique properties include voltage-controlled surface
tension, high liquid-state conductivity and liquid-solid phase transition at
room temperature. One of the long-term visions of us and many other researchers
is to change the physical shape, appearance and functionality of any object
through digital control to create intelligent, dexterous and useful objects
that exceed the functionality of any current display or robot.”

The research
is being has been presented at the ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces 2017
conference in Brighton. This is a joint project between Sussex and Swansea
funded by EPSRC on “Breaking the Glass: Multimodal, Malleable Interactive
Mobile surfaces for Hands-In Interactions”.

This process seems to make possible the answers to a riddle I have been considering. If earthlings make contact with exo-earth life, who know nothing of our means of communication and we know nothing of theirs, what processes can we learn to use to communicate with the exo-earth life forms. Perhaps we can take this process and teach it to echo their processes.

ReplyDeleteThe answer is mathematics, in short: ones and zeros. Any advance civilization would have no problem understanding such a language. The other answer is digital or analog representations, like a photograph of ourselves.

DeleteEveryone's answer is mathematics. The problem is that we don't speak that language as fluently as we think we do. An advanced civilization's mathematics would be profound compared to our own understanding, and it would be very likely that even if we did manage to eek out a question in mathematics, we would not be able to understand the answer. Problem solving, and communications require unorthodox thinking and creative problem solving techniques which escape those who are mathematically inclined. 1001101001010010110101000101010010. See what I mean?

DeleteYour simple binary string as a standalone statement does not have the capability of representing what you could communicate in words, however, that is not a proof for it being useless, even in the average person's hands. It takes having a common translational tool (like a cellphone or computer) available to the majority of the populace to satisfy the definition that's an analog to how the original poster thinks this liquid metal dynamorphic process can be used when coupled with a potent artificial general intelligence of capable potency.

DeleteThe reason everyone's answer is mathematics is that we _do_ speak that language fluently, and so will any other advanced civilisation.

DeleteThere are mathematical and physical properties which are basic properties of the universe, and we can and would use them to establish a baseline of communication.

A more advanced civilisation might know more maths that we didn't. But mathematical truths are eternal; they would recognise _our_ attempts at communication as such.

And any maths we didn't understand in the reply would BE a means of communication; when you know a mathematical fact you can prove it and understand it's relation to the facts around it, unlike ordinary language. If they understand the maths themselves, they can explain it to us. Using the maths we already know. That's the beauty of maths; you can start at the simplest concepts and work up to _everything_.

As for your claim that "unorthodox thinking and creative problem solving techniques... escape those who are mathematically inclined"... that's just an extremely silly comment. You've obviously never had contact with serious pure maths research, which requires NOTHING BUT unorthodox thinking and creative problem solving techniques.

When the great David Hilbert was told one of his students had dropped out of mathematics to study poetry, he is reported to have said: “Good. He did not have enough imagination to become a mathematician.”

OU812

ReplyDeleteYour picture of a 3D shape is misleading. Shame on you pseudo-journalists and you call yourselves scientists.

ReplyDeleteDamn you did them like that.

DeleteAh, wonderful--you clever fleshbags have taken your first step on your way to creating Transformium. Congratulations!

ReplyDeleteand Skynet is on it's way!

ReplyDeleteBest (so far) of both raster and vector graphics

ReplyDelete