The future is currently being engineered in laboratories all across the world, where scientists not unlike the ones at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, California, are concocting materials that seem revolutionary now, but might be as innocuous as plastic one day. First revealed in 2011, microlattice has been around for a few years — but a new video shows off just what it can do.
In the video — titled, “Lightest. Metal. Ever.” — uploaded today by aerospace giant Boeing, Sophia Yang, a research scientist at HRL, extols all of microlattice’s dreamy properties, including the scientific minutiae that allows it to twist, bend and even rest effortlessly on top of an un-bloomed dandelion without withering the flimsy flower.
There are striking commercial elements at play here, too. You’ll notice that Yang mentions incorporating all the “structural components in aerospace,” which makes sense, given Boeing and everything, but the advent of microlattice could hypothetically bridge the divide into the auto industry too, making cars more fuel-efficient without compromising their structural integrity.
Appropriately, HRL has its hands in a number of scientifically important projects: It announced Monday a deal with NASA to supply ultra light-weight metals for future aerospace vehicles.
Can we just go to Mars already?