Water Strider Robot can jump on water

If you look at the surface of a calm lake or pond, you will probably see little mosquito-like bugs zipping around the surface of that body of water. Those little bugs are known as striders and they are able to walk around on the surface of the water without getting wet. One of the things that striders are able to do is to jump off the surface of the water without breaking through the surface.

A group of researchers in South Korea has built a robotic water strider bug in an effort to find out exactly how the real bug is able to exert enough force on the water surface to jump without breaking the surface of the water. The robot creation is described in the current issue of Science.

In the top view photo of the robot, you can see feet that are made from nickel foam. The entire robot weighs 11 grams and despite its lightweight and the fact that it is on water, it can jump to a height of 14cm. The researchers say that the strider bugs are consistently able to exert an amount of force on the surface of the water just below the amount of force required to break the surface of the water.

The robot the team designed to mimic the bug has legs coated with a superhydrophobic material and the legs curve up at the ends like the bug's legs. The result is a robot that can jump impressively high from the surface of the water, without breaking that surface just like the bug. Watch the video to see the robot strider bug jumping around.

SOURCE: Spectrum