With the studies on water striders’ ability to jump on water, scientists have now created a robot that can launch itself from the surface of water successfully.
When the team lead by researcher Je-Sung Koh watched the water strider jump on water surfaces using high-speed cameras, they noticed that the long legs accelerate gradually, so that 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 and to recreate this controlled acceleration in their robot, the researchers used a torque reversal catapult (TRC).
Researchers claim that with sufficiently light weight, long limbs, and the proper physical mechanisms, these robots effectively mimic their inspirational counterparts in nature.
The research is published in the Journal Science.