Programmable liquid matter: 2D shape deformation of highly conductive liquid metals in a dynamic electric field

Tokuda, Yutaka, Berna Moya, Jose Luis, Memoli, Gianluca, Neate, Timothy, Ranjan Sahoo, Deepak, Robinson, Simon, Pearson, Jennifer, Jones, Matt and Subramanian, Sriram (2017) Programmable liquid matter: 2D shape deformation of highly conductive liquid metals in a dynamic electric field. ACM ISS' 17, Brighton, UK, Oct.17-20. Published in: Proceedings of the 2017 ACM on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces. 142-150. Association for Computing Machinery, New York. ISBN 9781450346917

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In this paper, we demonstrate a method for the dynamic 2D transformation of liquid matter and present unique organic animations based on spatio-temporally controlled electric fields.In particular, we deploy a droplet of liquid metal (Gallium indium eutectic alloy) in a 7x7 electrode array prototype system, featuring an integrated image tracking system and a simple GUI. Exploiting the strong dependance of EGaIn’s surface tension on external electric voltages, we control multiple electrodes dynamically to manipulate the liquid metal into a fine-grained desired shape. Taking advantage of the high conductivity of liquid metals, we introduce a shape changing, reconfigurable smart circuit as an example of unique applications. We discuss system constraints and the overarching challenge of controlling liquid metals in the presence of phenomena such as splitting, self electrode interference and finger instabilities. Finally, we reflect on the broader vision of this project and discuss our work in the context of the wider scope of programmable materials.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Keywords: Liquid metal; Programmable Matter; Gallium; Blob Animation; Electric Field; Marangoni Effect; Shape ChangingDisplay; Reconfigurable Circuit; Smart Material
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Research Centres and Groups: Creative Technology
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > Q Science (General)
T Technology
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Depositing User: Yutaka Tokuda
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 08:52
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 09:37

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Breaking the Glass: Mutlimodal, Malleable Interactive Mobile surfaces for Hands-In InteractionsG1803EPSRC-ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCILEP/N013948/1