We investigate the programmable liquid matter: a class of materials where the deformability is intrinsic in their molecular structure and/or their physical state. Liquid metals are an extremely promising class of materials for deformable applications: their unique properties — such as voltage controlled surface tension, high liquid-state conductivity and liquid-solid phase transition at room temperatur — open new possibilities in soft robotics and shape changing displays. We explored programming liquid matter for customisable and interactive animation with a dynamic electric field. We implemented a novel prototype that can alter the shape of liquid metal by moving it along a desired path. By creating a hardware framework and a graphical user interface to promote interactive visualizations, we demonstrated novel manipulation of liquid metal with a vision to expand the work on shape changing, programmable material and consider its use as a method for providing a programmable electric circuit.
Yutaka Tokuda, J. Luis Berna Moya, Gianluca Memoli, Timothy Neate, Deepak Ranjan Sahoo, Simon Robinson, Jennifer Pearson, Matt Jones and Sriram Subramanian, Programmable Liquid Matter: Shape Deformation of Liquid Metals in Dynamic Electric Field, Proceedings of ACM ISS 2017, International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces. 142-150. ACM, New York, NY, USA. ISBN 9781450346917 .[In press] (PDF)