Recently we discussed stretchable electronics developments happening at Carnegie Mellon University. I hope you found that story interesting, if you did then you are sure to enjoy the work that is going on at North Carolina State University as well. Professor Michael Dickey and his team have created stretchable wires using liquid metal (eutectic indium-gallium), as can be seen here:
I asked Michael about these stretchable wires, to which he replied:
"These fibers are slightly wider than a human hair, as stretchable as a rubber band, and yet can sense touch using a capacitive mechanism that is similar to the way touch screens work on tablets and smart phones."
These properties are very interesting for applications such as torsion and strain gauges, allowing much more freedom of motion than current technologies. Looking toward the future, I image these wires as a circulatory/nervous system in a soft robot. These wires would be able to flex and stretch along with the robot’s movement, carry electrical current, and provide feedback at the same time. We await what lies ahead for liquid metal electronics applications!