Monday, 01 Aug, 2011 Technology

Latest Invention: Bionic Microrobot that Moves Like a Real Water Bug


A team of researchers from China managed to create an aquatic microrobot that moves almost like the Gerridae. The latter is a family of bugs also called water striders or water bugs. Just like the real water bugs, the tiny machine is able to move on top of the water's surface.

According to the researchers, their latest invention represents an improved version of previous robots. It can be used in military spy missions, monitoring water pollution and more.

The body of the bionic robot is about the size of a quarter, featuring 10 long water-repellent legs that extend from both sides of the body and used to keep the machine afloat. There are also 2 moveable short legs mounted at the center and powered by two tiny motors that allow the robot to move across the water's surface.

Despite the fact that the microrobot is much heavier than a water bug, it nevertheless can stand, walk and easily turn on the surface of the water.

It is worth mentioning that the research was funded by the Harbin Institute of Technology and the Natural Science Foundation of China. The research was published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Watch the video of the machine in action here.

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