A research team from Seoul National University has created a robot that changes color depending on its surroundings. In honor of the most famous reptile with this ability, the robot was dubbed the "chameleon".
A description of the development was published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
Although other animals can change their color to blend in with the background. Earlier, we talked about how scientists discovered this ability in some species of spiders.
To bring to life the idea of a chameleon robot, scientists have created a special "skin" for it. Its top layer is filled with ink that can change color when heated. Temperature causes tiny particles of ink to form spiral structures that reflect light at a specific wavelength.
Different amounts of heat lead to the formation of structures of different sizes, which is why they can be given almost any desired color.
The second layer of "chameleon skin" consists of a series of heating elements.
The engineers tested the resulting skin on a robot.
The robot changes color depending on the environment.
Illustration by Seung Hwan Ko / Seoul National University.
The chameleon robot was also equipped with the necessary microcircuits so that it could crawl forward.
Sensors on the lower part of the "torso" recognize the color of the surface on which the robot is crawling, the system processes the information received and sends signals to the network of heaters.
The researchers even developed a range of color patterns so that the robot could not only change color, but also display a specific pattern on its surface.
The developers expect that such a novelty will primarily find application in the military industry. We have already written about chameleon microparticles that will help camouflage tanks and aircraft. However, the authors of the new work see a more sophisticated application for their brainchild - in art objects and design.