A newly created Harvard robotic cockroach shows that the university is developing quite a knack for robotics and may lead the charge in creating tiny amphibious robots. Designed as an upgraded version of the Harvard Ambulatory Microbot (HAMR) this new Harvard robotic cockroach possess the distinct ability to swim and walk on water, in addition to walking on land. The robot is incredibly small in size and weighs just 1.65 grams. This size and weight is pivotal to its ability in traversing both under and onto water.
The Harvard robotic cockroach is capable of walking on top of water thanks to surface tension and related buoyancy, while electrowetting helps it break through the surface and walk on the ground at the bottom of the water. Electrowetting is a process in which the contact angle between a material and water surface under a voltage are reduced.
Image Credit: Harvard