Researchers develop water strider-like robot capable of jumping vertically up to 19.6 inches

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : March 22, 2023, 15:59 Updated : March 23, 2023, 17:15

[Courtesy of Ajou University's research team]

SEOUL -- Researchers developed a water strider-like robot that can float on water and jump vertically up to 50 centimeters (19.6 inches). The water jumper, which is also capable of jumping over obstacles when jumping forward, could be used for surveillance and military purposes. 
Water striders are small insects that can walk on water and jump extremely high. Although many water strider-like jumping robots have been showcased, it's been difficult to adopt them because such small-sized robots were not powerful enough to actually jump over obstacles.  

A research team led by mechanical engineering professors at Ajou University unveiled a robot that can jump over obstacles taller than 20 centimeters. The robot is about 10 times the size of an actual water strider which has a 1.1 cm to 1.6 cm-long body.
Despite the robot's large body size, it can jump and move better than the actual creature, as the larger objects receive more surface resistance. Surface resistance is generated when a robot or a creature pushes out a fluid.
"The research can become a core technology for the development of microscopic robots that imitates features of insects," Ajou University mechanical engineer Koh Je-sung was quoted as saying. He said the technology could be also utilized in monitoring nature. 
The research was published on March 17 on the website of Nature Communications, a peer-reviewed journal. 
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