DARPA’s New Robo-Chameleon
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has created an affordable and compact robot that “can change the color, contrast, pattern, apparent shape, luminescence, and surface temperature of soft machines for camouflage and display” according to sciencemag.org
It uses chemiluminescent solutions that are pumped into a color layer of the robot to mimic the use of bio-luminescence, which is demonstrated by natural organisms such as jelly fish and mushrooms. The solution and air are pumped into a micro fluid network system to control color, movement, and temperature.
The robot was created to be apart of the Maximum Mobility and Manipulation program or M3 for short. This is a program hoping to advanced the capabilities of robotics in areas of mobility and manipulation of natural environments.
The research and development is being done at Harvard University while all the funding is backed by DARPA. Each unit cost about 100$ to produce. Talk about cheap.
This is some pretty sweet tech that I would love to see integrated into devices we use every day. Imagine the possibility of customizing the color of your iPhone and 3DS on the fly. Just make sure you don’t set your device to camouflage.