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Researchers Develop First Bio-Inspired Water Jumping Robot

ACS scientists have developed the first biomimetic microrobot that can leap constantly in a vertical vacillating fashion similar to a real water strider.

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces report represents that a novel agile microrobot is being engineered. Unlike traditional water striders, this microrobot robot can efficiently navigate through obstacles by jumping up and down. It promises wide application in reconnaissance or other missions.

Qinmin Pan and his associate researchers said that various advances being carried out on tiny robots capable of walking on water have been described by scientists. Those tiny robots could be deployed for monitoring water quality owing to its potential to skim across lakes and other water bodies. Through the earlier research advances, Pan and his team were however able to achieve robot that can just walk on water. In contrast, the real water striders possess jumping capability. Creating a jumping robot is a challenging task since the downward force required to push the robot into the air typically propels the legs via the water's surface. Based on innovative mechanisms and materials, Pan’s team constructed a true water-striding robot.

The group developed a jumping robot. Porous, super water-repellant nickel foam was used to design three supporting and two jumping legs. In spite of its heavy weight, the resulting robot design was capable of leaping over a height of 5.5-in. During experiments, the robot could jump 14-in forward, over two-fold higher than its own length, with a velocity of nearly 3.6-mi per hour. With excellent jumping ability, the bio-inspired microrobot is considered to be more agile, possessing better obstacle-avoiding efficiency.


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