The Review of Lightest Robot that Can Fly, Swim and Take Off from Water

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 425 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Nov 19, 2018

Words: 425|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Nov 19, 2018

According to the article “lightest robot that can fly, swim and take off from water” A new robot/drone/boat weighs as much as 6 grains of rice is the lightest robot that can fly, swim and launch from the water. This new insect-inspired tiny robot that can move between air and water is very lightweight. An international team of researchers reports October 25 in Science Robotics magazine.

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The bot is about 1,000 times lighter than other previously developed aerial-aquatic robots. For the tricky water-to-air transition, the bot does some chemistry. After the water has collected inside the machine’s central container, the bot uses a device to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. As the chamber fills with gas, the buoyancy lifts the vehicle high enough to hoist the wings out of the water. An onboard “sparker” then creates a miniature explosion that sends the bot rocketing about 37 centimeters — roughly the average length of a men’s shoe box — into the air. Microscopic holes at the top of the chamber release excess pressure, preventing a loss of robot limbs. To hover, the bot flaps its translucent wings 220 to 300 times per second, somewhat faster than a housefly. Once submerged, the tiny robot surfaces by slowly flapping its wings at about nine beats per second to maintain stability underwater.

Still, the design needs work: The machine doesn’t land well, and it can only pierce the water’s surface with the help of soap, which lowers the surface tension. More importantly, the experiment points to the possibilities of incorporating different forms of locomotion into a single robot, says study co-author Robert Wood, a bioengineer at Harvard University.

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In the future, this kind of aquatic flier could be used to perform search-and-rescue operations, sample water quality or simply explore by air or sea. This could be implemented on solar panels built to be folded up and hauled off into outer space, life-saving airbags, and another robot. “We actually did show the possibility of a robot that could be controlled inside the stomach to remove button batteries,” Rus says. “So now what we're saying is, let's expand this idea and imagine... multi-step surgical procedures.” Inside the human body – those robot 'surgeons,' equipped with a flexible set of exoskeletal tools, could deploy just what they need when they need it. They might use one specific shell to remove batteries lodged in tissue, pop out another that can patch an internal wound, or maybe even deploy an origami exoskeleton that can take images inside the body – without any invasive cutting or prodding.

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Alex Wood

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The Review of Lightest Robot that Can Fly, Swim and Take Off from Water. (2018, November 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from
“The Review of Lightest Robot that Can Fly, Swim and Take Off from Water.” GradesFixer, 19 Nov. 2018,
The Review of Lightest Robot that Can Fly, Swim and Take Off from Water. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Feb. 2024].
The Review of Lightest Robot that Can Fly, Swim and Take Off from Water [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Nov 19 [cited 2024 Feb 26]. Available from:
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