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, Sahoo, Deepak Ranjan, 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. 2017 ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces, Brighton, United Kingdom, 17-20 October 2017. Published in: Proceedings of the 2017 ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces. 142-150. ACM, New York, NY, USA. ISBN 9781450346917

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Abstract

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
Additional Information: © ACM, 2017. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in "ISS '17 Proceedings of the 2017 ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces Pages 142-150", Brighton, United Kingdom — October 2017 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/3132272.3134132
Keywords: Blob Animation, Electric Field, Gallium, Liquid metal, Marangoni Effect, Programmable Matter, Reconfigurable Circuit, Shape Changing Display, Smart Material
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Research Centres and Groups: Creative Technology
Depositing User: Gianluca Memoli
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2017 09:50
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2017 09:51
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/71572

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