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Researchers develop insect mimicking robot that strides and jumps on water

You must have seen those little bugs trailing on the water surface in nearby pond or lake, soon you will be able to see little robots of the same shape doing that. A team of engineers from Harvard and Korea’s Seoul National University has designed a new kind of robot that mimics the action of that little bug and does exactly the same on the surface of water.

Coined as the water strider, the robot has been designed in such a way that the surface tension of the water keeps it from submerging to the bottom. The robot applies a very calculated and precise amount of force on the water surface that helps it to move ahead and make jumps. In any case, it doesn’t penetrate the surface tension of the water.

Strider has the legs that are curved at the end which when spreaded out helps the robot to stay on the top of water.

The Strider is a result of close observation of the insect’s movement and tension on the water surface. After several iterations, the team of engineers were finally able to pull off a design that mimics that water insect. This robotic Strider is almost 16 times the weight of that insect and still works flawlessly on the top of the surface.

Apart from that, the engineers said that the insect can take its momentum from the ground and jump on the water as well. The spreaded legs help it from going down to the bottom. It can also survive the prolonged contact with the water without any trouble.

However, the question arises, what is the use of such robots? Reports suggest that the funding for this model came from the South Korea and it is a part of the country’s Defence Acquisition Program Administration. The robot is probably be going to be used for keeping an eye on the borders, and for stopping the North Korea from doing any harm.

Probably, they will increase its size and weight bit more for it to survive the waves in the rivers and also carry monitoring equipment such as camera, IR sensors and other communication devices. This robot can prove to be a good spying agent.


  1. “However, the question arises, what is the use of such robots?” As soon as we are able to attach miniaturized microphones to them we’ll have water-bugs.

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