How do Water Striders Move Fast in Water Surface Without Sinking

by OldSailor on January 11, 2008

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Now South Korean Researchers have come out with details of how water striders move fast or bounce on water surface without sinking. The research reveals

  • why water striders have extremely water repellent legs
  • how they touch down at just the right speed not to sink
  • some water striders can propel their bodies across the water surface at nearly 3.5 feet per second, which is 100 times their body length
  • the insects are able to skim around on water because water molecules at the surface are strongly attracted to each other and those beneath, unlike the air above. This leads to surface tension, a skin-like effect that such insects exploit.
  • the strider’s legs can support 15 times the insect’s weight without it sinking

The above findings would be helpful for fine tuning the development of robots that can move about on lakes and reservoirs to monitor water quality, spy or explore.

Here are some photographs of the miniature robots that can walk in water surface without sinking.

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Image source:nanolab

Update: August 10

A recent study says that the length of water strider’s leg is just long enough to support the maximum possible weight without adding needless drag. Read more from Science Now.

View a video clip of water strider

Here compare the above video with the water strider robot

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