STATES CHRONICLE – Numerous groups have already contributed to the tech boom with a variety of robots and drones. However, Harvard added an innovative feature to them. The organization endowed tiny robots with the capability to easily navigate the waters. The new RoboBee can fly, swim, dive in the depth of waters, and even propel itself back to land. This new water loving microrobot can squeeze in unreachable angles in the name of science.
The Improved RoboBee Can Boost Efficiency in Biological Research
This is the first air-water microrobot that weights 1,000 less than any other similar inventions. Thanks to this unique set of attributes, the device can play a major role in biological research and environmental monitoring.
The team behind this project published the findings in Science Robotics magazine. The group consists of a collaboration between he Wyss Institute for Biologically-Inspired Engineering at Harvard and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
The new prototype is an improved version of Harvard’s 2013 RoboBee. This time, scientists found a way to enable a tiny body to penetrate the wall formed by the tension of the surface of the water. In fact, this shield is 10 times the weight of the robot.
The Water Loving Microrobot Is the First Small Bot to Successfully Escape the Surface of the Water by Itself
Therefore, the team needed to find the perfect way to complete a successful transition between two extremely different mediums. The water is 1,000 denser than air. Therefore, RoboBee needed to flap fast enough to fly yet slow enough not to break its wings under water.
The winning solution ended up being a propelling system that resembles a rocket. However, this time the mechanism employs water as fuel. The tiny robot features a room filed with gas. This substance is extracted from water through a minuscule electrolytic plate that crumbles the molecules into gas.
An internal spark lights the gas which makes the water be shot out of the robot. The result is a successful breakout from the tension of the water surface. However, the water loving microbot now needs to learn how to fly immediately after it jumps out of water.
Image source: Harvard.edu