According to the results of a study published in peer-reviewed scientific journal, Advanced Materials, scientists from the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University have created a new type of metal which has the ability to shape-shift and 'eat' other materials, thereby utilizing the energy from them in order to power itself.
The scientists successfully developed a motor from a material called galinstan which is an alloy derivative of gallium, indium and tin. Whilst at room temperature, the motor itself remains in liquid form.
When placed in close contact to a flake of aluminium, the aluminium becomes the 'fuel', or energy, that the motor 'eats' in order to power itself. The flake of aluminium gives the motor enough power to roam around of it's own accord for an entire hour.
The motor itself is only capable of traveling at two inches per second and has been described as a synthetic organism - or in scientific terms, a bio-mimetic mollusk.
According to Jing Liu from Tsinghua University:
“The soft machine looks rather intelligent and (can) deform itself
according to the space it voyages in, just like (the) Terminator does
from the science-fiction film. These unusual behaviors perfectly resemble the living organisms in nature.”
[ Image from Pixabay - Public Domain - http://pixabay.com/en/girl-woman-face-eyes-close-up-320262/ ]