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Make a Magnetic Slime Robot

40 reviews


Areas of Science
Time Required
Short (2-5 days)
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
*Note: 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

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.


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The United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.
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General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

MLA Style

Finio, Ben. "Make a Magnetic Slime Robot." Science Buddies, 1 June 2022, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Robotics_p046/robotics/magnetic-slime-robot. Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

APA Style

Finio, B. (2022, June 1). Make a Magnetic Slime Robot. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Robotics_p046/robotics/magnetic-slime-robot

Last edit date: 2022-06-01
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