Robots That Walk on Water

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Mar 15, 2007
Robots That Walk on Water

The "bugs," two to six inches long and weighing a few grams, can scoot over water, reports IEEE Transactions on Robotics.

Called STRIDE, which stands for surface tension based robotic insect dynamic explorer, the robots use water's surface tension to walk on their spindly legs exactly like water striders, the insects that motivated the challenge.

These bugs "are really cheap to manufacture on a large scale, because they're really simple," Metin Sitti(the Principal Investigator) explains and can be used for environmental monitoring of still-water ecosystems like ponds and marshes.

They can walk on water as shallow as a tenth of an inch, and carry sensors that transmit information back to the shore, functioning as minimally invasive probes, and opening up a whole new form of bugging.
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