A research team from a Chinese university has developed a chameleon robot that has the ability to move and change its colors.
Dr Du Xuemin of the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, a facility of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, led a scientific team towards the realization of the project.
It is not the first time that research uses natural models to create what in technical terms are called "soft robots". A few weeks ago I told you about a device without a metal structure with “air” actuators. A very interesting device, which in fact can be considered one starfish robot.
This time the inspiration came from the chameleon for his extraordinary abilities. The reptile is able to change its color according to the context. It does this by activating reflective nanocrystals on the surface of the iridophores, some skin cells.
How the chameleon robot works
The robot developed by the Xuemin team mimics these characteristics and in fact has the ability to sense changes in the context. On this basis it changes its colors and moves accordingly. His skills trace the course of the new generations of robots that interact with the environment by warning, responding and talking.
Thanks to a well-studied design and a structure that allows it to change shape and colors (on a sort of pinwheel) in less than a second, the robot has very special adaptation capabilities.
Here is a flash of a few seconds that shows the type of interaction activated by the chameleon robot:
The results of the research and the operational developments were published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Matter, in a paper entitled “Color actuators inspired by the chameleon”.
Don't try to blend in with the sofa to avoid reading it! For more information, find it here. Chameleon-inspired structural color actuators, Matter, DOI: 10.1016 / j.matt.2019.05.012