Short Bytes: Engineers at the Seoul National University have created world’s first machine that can jump on water, using water strider biomimetics.
A group of engineers at the Seoul National University has created a machine that can jump on water. Its principles are based on the insect water strider, that has the ability to sit and even jump on water. It is the simple physics that these insects use so effortlessly.
The insects have the idea of the surface tension of the water, that might be eluding most of us. Surface tension is the property of the liquid by which it resists an external force due to the cohesive forces between the liquid’s molecules. Basically, surface tension allows the liquid to ‘stick’ to itself.
Now, the insects push down on the water with maximum force that the surface tension can take. Greater is the push, more is the surface tension that is built under the leg- and better is the upward jump on water.
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The water strider achieves this balance by rotating its middle and hind legs while pushing them downwards to build enough momentum for a leap. The same principle is used in this lightweight robot. The design is similar to the water strider, but it has 5 cm longer legs to maximize the torque.
It is similar to jumping on a solid ground, which can sink if you apply too much pressure. So, technically if you could balance your weight with the surface tension of the water or any liquid for that matter, you can walk on that liquid.
After reading this, you might not think it as a major achievement as compared to an almost confirmation to a possible EM Drive or rise of the AI that seems threatening to Stephen Hawking himself.
But, this small experiment clears the theoretical understanding that physicists always had, and could lead in future a technology, that can allow humans to walk on water.
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