If you get freaked out by advancements in robotics, then this latest one might trouble you somewhat. Because not only can robots do all kinds of activities like swim, fly, and perform light shows, now scientists have decided that flying, leaping, running, and swimming isn’t good enough. Now they need to be invisible too.
Researchers at Harvard University working for DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) have figured out how to make “soft” robots (based on underwater invertebrates like octopuses and squid) that can camouflage themselves, effectively making them invisible. For around $100, they can make a softbot covered in small channels which get filled with dye, so they can either blend into a background, or stand out from it, even hide from infrared by having the injected liquid at a certain temperature.
Possible applications for them could be in search and rescue—because they can glow in the dark—and no doubt lots of covert military-type stuff. Might be nice to see them in an artwork too, in some kind of color-mutating, shifting kinetic sculpture.