Scientists create a tiny robot that jumps on water like water striders. Watch the incredible video.
Korean researchers led by Sung Koh have created a robot that can launch itself from the surface of water.
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The scientists copied the skills of water striders observing their movements with high-speed cameras stealing their secrets.
The secret of the water striders is that its long legs accelerate gradually. This way the water surface doesn't retreat too quickly and lose contact with the legs.
Using a theoretical model of a flexible cylinder floating on liquid, the authors found that the maximum force of the water striders' legs is always just below the maximum force that water surface tension can withstand.
The researchers used a torque reversal catapult (TRC) mechanism that generates a small initial torque and gradually increases, but that never exceeds the surface tension force of water.
The water strider sweeps its legs inward in order to maximize the time the legs can push against the surface of the water, thus maximizing the overall force.
The robot is also copying this behavior to jump on water like its biological archetype.
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The paper "Jumping on water: Surface tension-dominated jumping of water striders and robotic insects" has been published in the Journal Science.