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I am looking to make robot parts out of steel. Parts should be bendable with the help of science. Answer should deliver permanent deformable steel parts to facilitate fast, acrobatic movements for an assassin-type robot requiring agility in combat.

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  • $\begingroup$ Why would a permanently deformable part sustain agility? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Dec 10 '20 at 6:24
  • $\begingroup$ its an assembly of parts that shouldnt be rigid bodies. it's to facilitate fast, acrobatic movements coming from an assassin-type robot. @L.Dutch-ReinstateMonica $\endgroup$
    – atross
    Dec 10 '20 at 6:29
  • $\begingroup$ I might be wrong, but anything which has to react fast (like race car, fighter jets, race bike) has usually a very rigid frame. It has nothing to do with permanent deformation. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Dec 10 '20 at 6:33
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch-ReinstateMonica sorry but i guess i meant 'rigid bodies' in physics where it applies to objects with deformation close to zero. vehicles you mentioned should have regions meant to absorp impact. almost any utilised structures have a degree of flexibility in particular regions so that they remain resilient. this mech of mine, unlike vehicles where the parts should move uniformly, has its own limbs bearing different kind of stresses. one hand could be blocking a punch while the other holding a sword, etc. it's bipedal too. $\endgroup$
    – atross
    Dec 10 '20 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ So you want something that have SOME features of steel yet it's not steel because steel features come from hardening. So you don't want steel. $\endgroup$ Dec 10 '20 at 8:27
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You want a mix of steel parts and Shape-memory alloys.

These alloys have the unique property of returning to a previous shape when heated and/or cooled. In this case, you'd want to have two-way memory alloys that have one shape when hot and another when cold. That allows for bending and straightening the limbs of the android by heating and cooling.

The main problem I see is that cooling especially is hard to do in a split second, which is probably what you need for agile assassin droids. There are some decent ways to increase heat transfer but none at the level you want, so I would "invent" a similar alloy that changes shape when exposed to an electric current. It's not implausable that the increased energy of the electrons cause the molecular bonds to change like heat does for known shape-memory alloys and allows for much quicker and controlled movement.

I don't expect it would actually work to infuse steel with this and have the whole thing deform into many shapes, but the alloys are pretty strong by themselves, so they could form most of the android's body, with some additional steel parts for armoring/weapons. Of course, your scientists might have figured that one out too...

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  • $\begingroup$ interesting take. but both suggestions sounds like too much energy needed for seamless movement esp when the state of the material is constantly changing--at least by how i understand it. id prefer it to be in the permanent state of flexible. maybe done with infusing an element of some kind into it. any physical force upon impact then is deflected. (or absorbed? i honestly dont know) $\endgroup$
    – atross
    Dec 10 '20 at 12:40
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Why not just make flexible parts out of steel?

You don't need to add anything to steel to make it flexible, intelligently designed steel parts can be flexible.

Just because something is made out of steel doesn't mean it's rigid. If you cast a massive steel thing like an engine block - sure its basically static, but you can make thin steel parts that can flex. Flexible steel is all around you:

This steel part is very flexible, it's probably under your sink or connecting your dishwasher: enter image description here

This steel wire is very flexible;

enter image description here

By interspersing thin parts of steel together your robot arm could flex and morph in any way you need.

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  • $\begingroup$ probably the route im going for. i should now figure out how to make its application on my mechs as some out-of-this-world tech. thank you though! $\endgroup$
    – atross
    Dec 10 '20 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ And springs! Spring steel!. Spring steel is springy. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Dec 10 '20 at 22:47

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