/Weird new type of magnetic liquid could be used to control soft robots

Weird new type of magnetic liquid could be used to control soft robots

Spinning magnetic droplets

Spinning magnetic droplets cause a dye to swirl

Thomas P. Russell

Not all magnets have to be solids – a new kind of liquid magnet may eventually help control wireless soft robots.

Liquid magnets of a sort already exist. These ferrofluids are a mixture of a non-magnetic liquid and solid magnetic nanoparticles, but they only work when under the influence of an external magnetic field. Thomas Russell at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and his colleagues were able to turn a ferrofluid into a truly magnetic fluid that retains its magnetic properties.

They did this using magnetic …

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