Nature has always proved to be quite the inspiration for progressive thinkers, and here we are with scientists from the University of Bristol who have managed to develop artificial muscles which are capable of mimicking the camouflaging ability of squids. This particular artificial muscle might eventually see similar technology being applied onto “smart clothes” that are capable of changing color as and when required in order to help someone out in a tight spot. Sort of an invented alien symbiote that Eddie Brock is “fused” to as Venom, a character from the Spider-Man universe. This would clearly place such technology under the field of soft robotics, as this domain will blend together organic chemistry, soft materials science, and robotics.
In order to achieve the use of such smart camouflage materials, the team at the University of Bristol relied on “smart” electro-active polymeric materials which are connected to an electric circuit. Whenever a certain amount of voltage is applied, the materials will contract, and return to their original shape whenever short-circuited. The military as well as intelligence agencies would definitely find plenty of use for something like this in their everyday operations.