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Here’s a mechanical chameleon!

Electronic engineers Guoping Wang, Xuechen Chen, Sheng Liu, Chingping Wong, and Sheng Chu have invented a mechanical chameleon which blends in real time with color backgrounds. The “chameleon” is a 3D-printed model covered in plasmonic displays.

They said in their paper: “The development of camouflage methods, often through a general resemblance to the background, has become a subject of intense research. However, an artificial, active camouflage that provides fast response to color change in the full-visible range for rapid background matching remains a daunting challenge.

To this end, we report a method, based on the combination of bimetallic nanodot arrays and electrochemical bias, to allow for plasmonic modulation. Importantly, our approach permits real-time light manipulation readily matchable to the color setting in a given environment.”

read more here and here 
Credit: ACS Nano (2016). DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b07472