by Staff Writers
Waterloo, Ontario (UPI) Jul 30, 2012
Canadian scientists say they've made a robot that not just walks on water like the water strider insect but leaps over the surface like its living counterpart.
A number of tiny robots that can walk on water have been developed that could skim across lakes and other bodies of water to monitor water quality or conduct surveillance operations, but none have been able to make leaps across the water as a water strider does.
Now researcher Qinmin Pan of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and his colleagues say they've build a true water-striding robot that can both walk and leap on water.
Their robot, with porous, super water-repellent nickel on its three supporting and two jumping legs, can leap more than 5.5 inches, despite weighing as much as 1,100 water striders.
In tests the robot has jumped nearly 14 inches forward -- more than twice its own length -- leaving the water at about 3.6 miles per hour, the researchers said.
The ability to leap as well as walk will make the bio-inspired microrobot more agile and better able to avoid obstacles it encounters on the water's surface, they said.
The research has been published in the American Chemical Society's journal Applied Material & Interfaces.
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NRL Brings Inertia of Space to Robotics Research
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 19, 2012
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Spacecraft Engineering Department's space robotics research facility recently took possession of a one-of-a-kind 75,000 pound Gravity Offset Table (GOT) made from a single slab of solid granite. To emulate the classical mechanics of physics found in space on full-scale replica spacecraft on Earth requires not only a hefty amount of air to 'float' the object, bu ... read more
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