Share

Who doesn’t still vaguely remember the first time they saw a water strider standing on top of a lake?

The insects do it by taking advantage of water’s surface tension, which their thin water-repellent legs and light bodies can rest upon without puncturing through.

Now, a Harvard University and Seoul National University joint team have built robots inspired by water striders. The small bots can hop on water, taking advantage of surface tension in the same way.

The robots are simply built from hair thin rods, and their 2 cm-long bodies and 5 cm-long legs weigh only 68 milligrams.

To leap into the air, the legs of the bots are rotated inward, boosting them upward.

[youtube id=”-aVw9xhXPPU” align=”center” mode=”normal” autoplay=”no”]

By Sid Douglas