Professor Miklós Zrínyi of Semmelweiss University in Budapest, Hungary, has invented a magnetic gel which can be shaped in various forms and then moved using magnetism.
Soft magnetic materials like this one could be used for artificial muscles in robots, or to replace rigid machine components, such as valves. Other teams are also working on making robots more flexible: an electroactive polymer was recently used to create a motor that rotates, without any gears or ratchets. A chemical gel that can walk like a caterpillar could also be used as a component of future robots.
[Via Neatorama | Source: New Scientist]