Walking on water is a feat in and of itself but there are few species of insects that can not only walk but jump on water! Water striders have the ability to jump from water with the same height as from land. Insects that can move across water have to manipulate the water tension to stay on top. Too much pressure and you break the surface and fall in, while too little pressure gets you no where.
For no other purpose but discovery, scientists from Seoul National University in South Korea,Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences set their minds to replicate the water skimmers motions with a small robot bug.
“The water strider, whose legs have slightly curved tips, employs a rotational leg movement to aid it its takeoff from the water’s surface, discovered co-ssenior author Ho-Young Kim, a professor in SNU’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and director of its Micro Fluid Mechanics Lab.”
They discovered the best way to jump off the water was to keep the legs in contact with the water as long as possible during the jump. The water strider knows the maximum pressure itcan exert without breaking the water tension. Scientists explain that it’s a “physical intelligence,” not high cognition, that gives these small creatures the ability to perform these feats. It took scientists from around the globe to create a robot insect that can exert 16 times its own body weight without complex control.
To learn more about the exact mechanics of the their robot, check out the original article posted by Harvard University: http://wyss.harvard.edu/viewpressrelease/210/
Although we haven’t yet implemented robotics, Go-Forth Pest Control can certainly help you with insect control at your home or business.