For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.
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Could you use a magnetic slime "robot" to retrieve a battery accidentally swallowed by a small child? Scientists think so! Watch this video to learn about magnetic slime that, when driven by external magnetic fields, can squeeze through small spaces and even grasp objects.
This Is The First LIQUID Robot, And It’s Unbelievable
Can you make your own magnetic slime robot that can accomplish some of the same tasks demonstrated by the researchers? You can start by adding iron filings to slime to make your own magnetic slime (see this Science Buddies activity for a recipe).
Next, prop up a 1/8 inch sheet of acrylic (also called plexiglass) so there is a gap between the acrylic and the table. Put your slime on top of the acrylic. Mount a neodymium magnet on the end of a straw or skewer and hold it under the acrylic (Figure 1).
Can you use the magnet to manipulate the slime? Can you make the slime squeeze through an obstacle, grasp an object, or connect two wires? What about using multiple magnets to form more complex shapes with the slime?
A blob of magnetic slime on a transparent piece of plexiglass, being pulled to one side by a magnet taped to a straw and held beneath the glass
Figure 1. Example experimental setup.
You may need to experiment to find the optimal slime recipe for this project. There are multiple factors you can change that will affect the physical properties of your slime, including
The amount of contact lens solution (In general, more contact lens solution will make your slime more viscous.)
The amount of iron filings
Using neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) powder instead of iron filings (The slime recipe in the paper uses MQP-15-7 powder from Magnequench, Inc.)
If your slime sticks to the acrylic too much, try using it on a different surface. Just make sure the material is thin, since magnetic fields rapidly get very weak as you get farther from the magnet.
Do you have specific questions about your science project? Our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.
The United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.
This project explores topics key to Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
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