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Designed autonomous machines combined with artificial intelligence have long been a staple of science fiction, often acting as cylon-like villains in the restart of Battlestar Galactica, biologically and It is a creature composed of engineering materials. But what if these autonomous soft machines … helped?

This is the vision of a team of researchers at Pennsylvania State University and the US Air Force, outlined in a recent treatise. Nature Communications.. These researchers have created soft, mechanical metamaterials that allow them to “think” about how forces are applied and respond through programmed reactions. This platform has great potential for a variety of applications, from medical to environmental improvement.

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