Prof. Qinmin Pan and his team members developed the first bio-inspired microrobot that can walk and jump on water without dipping. This exciting concept was inspired from the water striders, and they float on the water surface by maintaining equal body weight along with their elongated minute-haired legs.
This microrobot has three supporting and two leaping legs made up of porous, super water-resistant nickel foam. It is powered by a tiny DC motor and a reduction gear, which helps them to travel around 3.60 miles per hour speed and jump above 5.50 inches. It also allows them to leap forward up to 14 inches – over double its length. During comparison, this microrobot is found to be 1100 times heavier than water striders.
Generally, it is not an easy task to make a microrobot to leap on water without sinking. All the credits go to Qinmin Pan and his colleagues. They say that this microrobot can be made to float on water to perform following tasks:
- Monitor the quality of water
- Act as a miniature spy
Overall, I feel that the most advanced feature in Pan’s microrobot is their jumping capability, because it helps them to overcome the obstacles very easily that are met in the water surface.