A group of South Korean researchers may have just found their long-awaited breakthrough in what seems likely to pave the way for the development of new camouflage technology. The researchers have succeeded in creating a robot that can change its color just like a chameleon — known to be able to adjust or change its skin color to blend in with the color of its immediate environment or surface it is on.
This breakthrough research will undoubtedly pave the way for a new high-resolution artificial camouflage technology that will be very useful for both military and espionage purposes all over the world. The importance of this research can not be overemphasized as it would naturally improve the survival rate of military personnel while protecting them from enemy fires and increasing the longevity of their gears and equipment. Prior to this time, all research in the line of artificial camouflage has relied on devices with tiny channels to control the flow of fluids inside. Still, this project took an entirely different approach — a fully electric one.
According to the researchers, they used color sensors, thermochromic materials (materials that change color with changing heat levels), and nanowire wires, in creating different skin patterns for the robot. This allows the robot to change colors almost as soon as there is a change in the immediate environment. Speaking to MIT Technology Review, Seung Hwan Ko, a professor at Seoul National University, said that some people have already published the study in the journal Nature Communications. Seung himself happens to be one of the authors of the study.
Hwan Ko spoke further citing that the most difficult part of the inovation was making the color change happen as fast as possible so as to create a natural feel. He said the nanowires came in handy in that regards as they heated up quite quickly enough and allowed the robotic skin change colour just as fast.
But Hwan Ko hopes the research will be used much wider than just in the military. He hopes to see the technology being employed in other fields like transportation, beauty, and even fashion. This technology will possibly help future cars to adapt their colours to stand out or even we can see colour-changing wears.