Engineers Use A Strange Bug In Order To Develop A Robot That Walks On Water
Harvard University recently teamed up with Seoul National University in order to develop a robot that can walk on water. For some reason, researchers have been wanting to develop a robotic-spider that can walk on the water for some time now. However, engineers were stumped as to how to make a water-walking-spider-robot a reality. Luckily for the engineers, mother nature has given them an example of how walking on water can occur in the natural world. Water-striders are unique types of insects in that they have mastered the ability to walk on water.
The insect-inspired robot is capable of standing and jumping on the water, and without making a splash. The robot is also capable of exerting a force that is sixteen times its own body weight, and once again, this action can be performed by the robot while it is standing on water. The robot is capable of these seemingly impossible feats solely because they have been modeled closely after water-striders.
Amazingly, this new robot weighs only a thousandth of an ounce, and it is only ¾ of an inch in length. However, the water-strider is very powerful for its size. According to one of the lead researchers involved with this project, in order for the robot to remain above the water, the right amount of force needs to be applied to the surface of the water for a particular amount of time. Luckily, after studying the water strider, the researchers learned just how much force needs to be expended by the robot in order for it to remain above the water. The robot is also outfitted with legs that are curved just enough to allow it to successfully jump on the surface of water. This particular robot represents a turning point in how engineers understand and study robot locomotion.
Have you ever seen water-striders before? If you have, in what type of water-body did you find them in?