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You need to see this bizarre colour-changing chameleon robot

A robot hand reaching to touch a chameleon.
(Image credit: Dmitry Petlin/500px/Coneyl Jay/Future )

It's not every day you get to see, erm, well a colour-changing robot chameleon. That's right, someone has made a robot that actually changes colour based on its surroundings - how cool is that?

A team of Korean researchers are the brains behind this quirky little robot, and apparently, it's one of the first-ever devices that can change colour based on the environment it's in. It should come as no surprise to learn that this robot is inspired by chameleons — the scientists made it look like a chameleon with walking legs and googly eyes. And on the topic of colour, why not check out our brilliant guide to colour theory?

According to Smithsonian magazine, the robot has a coat of liquid crystal ink that uses aligned molecules that can change to any colour. The liquid crystals change their alignment based on different temperatures, which is when the colours change. With this knowledge, the scientists behind this cute chameleon attached heaters on the belly of the robot that can change temperature based on what colour a sensor on the robot detects. It's official, this robot is far cooler than Amazon's sinister Astro bot

Apparently, it's easier for the chameleon to change colours that go from cool to hot (like red to blue), with it taking only half a second to change its skin colour. However, it takes a little longer to change from a hot colour to a cool colour, like blue to red. 

This tiny robot has some pretty revolutionary science powering it, and already it's been suggested that this format could be applied to things like camouflage and fashion to create reactive colour-changing clothing. 

The chameleon hidden in flowers being camouflaged.

Can you spot the robot hiding amongst this foliage? (Image credit: Seung Hwan Ko)

We think the robot is not only very cute but also completely ingenious, and it'll be interesting to see if this technology will impact the creative industry at all in the future! If you're feeling inspired by this robot story, why not have a go at creating your own 3D rendered robot using Adobe creative cloud

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Amelia Bamsey

Amelia Bamsey is the Staff Writer for Creative Bloq. Cornish born-and-bred, Amelia has a passion for all things art, design, photography and music.