CMU Water Strider Robot

Posted Dec 12, 2007 7:24 AM

Surface tension is really, really neat: it's what causes liquids to form spheres in microgravity, and what allows insects like water striders to skate across still water without sinking. It's a very efficient means of travel, and it's also fast: water striders are some of the fastest moving insects in the world, able to traverse 100 body-lengths per second (that scales up to a human running 400 mph). What better insect to inspire a robot? Carnegie Mellon University's NanoRobotics lab has been able to create this robotic water strider, which is able to walk (and even bounce) on still water. Potential applications are diverse, but include obvious things like water quality management, espionage, and creeping people out. Video:

[ CMU Water Strider ] VIA [ Environmental Graffiti ]