Even more robots today. While Tohoku University's researchers are building dancing robots, MIT's are hard at work on robotic snails that use fake slimes one made out of silicon oil, the other a mixture of glycerin and water, to move around:
"People have looked at the properties of slime in the past, but more from a biological point of view, not from the engineering angle," said Anette Hosoi, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. "So now we've begun to take a look at the mechanical side of the biology. It's like walking. It's a mechanical act, but not everyone has been concerned with the biology behind it." To ponder the slime, Hosoi, graduate student Brian Chan and fellow assistant professor John Bush spent several weeks putting together a mass of unsophisticated gears, wiring and pieces of plastic to build a robotic snail. It measures about 10 inches in length and is housed in a rubbery membrane that moves forward on a thin layer of slime.