Scientists have recently created a water strider robot that has the ability to jump on water. The tiny robot insect has the capacity of jumping on water without causing any splashes. The new artificial bug was a great presentation of how the modern technology is able to copy nature principles.
A professor of mechanical engineering from the Seoul National University said that he is simply amazed by how water striders are able to jump on water and that he is excited to find out if they can copy the principles from nature and recreate a locomotion that is among the most fascinating ones in nature, namely the water jumping.
The researchers behind the tiny robotic insect said that this kind of technology might possibly be used to build a great number of robots that have the ability to float and jump on water and which could be used for missions of surveillance. The researchers gave an example by pointing the movie Minority Report out, in which a lot of tiny insect-like robots were deployed inside an apartment in order to search for a fugitive. The scientists added that they do not want their robots to be used by the hands of malevolent people.
It was reported that the new water strider robot weighs only 68 milligrams and has a length of just 2 centimeters. That’s two-thousandths of a single ounce and three-fourths of an inch. The scientists at the Harvard University and the Seoul National University analyzed how water striders, or Gerridae, jump on water in order to create a robot capable of doing the same thing.
The noticed that the long legs of the water striders help the bugs accelerate gradually, so that the water’s surface doesn’t retreat and lose the contact with the insect’s legs. The result is that the water strider, as well as the water strider robot, can move on water without causing any splashes. The researchers created a theory which states that the maximum force of the legs of the creature is continuously a little below the maximum force tolerated by the water surface.
The bug tends to sweep its legs to the inside in order to maximize the time in which it pushes off on the water surface. The overall momentum is maximized in this way. The water strider robot was created by following the same principles.
The results of the current experiment were published in the Science Mag journal.
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