Chameleon-Bot with Artificial Skin Changes Color in Real Time

Researchers are one step closer to creating an "invisibility cloak" through active camouflage.

Seung Hwan Ko of Seoul National University and colleagues have created a chameleon-inspired robot with thermochromic liquid crystal in its skin. The crystals change color in response to changing temperature, and take on different shades of green, red, and blue at specific temperatures. 

Below the outer skin layer, Ko and his team wired up stacks of transparent polyimide film coated with silver nanowires that heat up when an electric current passes through them.

As a sensor below the chameleon-bot notices the change in background color and signals the heating element to heat up or cool down to the requisite temperature to cause the color change.

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Video and images: Seung Hwan Ko et al.

The Artificial Chameleon Skin is composed of thermochromic liquid crystal layer, black ink layer, stacked silver nanowire (Ag NW) heater layers.

The Chameleon-bot with 7 multilayered flexible Artificial Chameleon Skin patches.

Chameleon-bot in various states: off, green only and camouflage mode (both red and green)

Instantaneous color change of the Chameleon-bot in response to changes in the background color.

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