The miraculous CMU Water Runner

Updated ·1 min read

Although it probably won't win a following of apostles for the feat, Carnegie Mellon University bot Water Runner's ability to, well, walk on water, is at least worthy of a small write-up in a gadget blog, we think. The lightweight plastic and carbon fiber robot, which is the newest member of a supposed zoo of animal-inspired devices from CMU's NanoRobotics Lab, owes its gravity-defying skills to research done by Harvard University biologists on the basilisk, or Jesus, lizard. Like its scaly counterpart, Water Runner uses a rapid slapping motion of the "feet" that provides enough propulsion for the bot to avoid sinking or tipping over. Although it's currently just in the proof-of-concept, prototype stage (like, it still needs to be plugged into the wall, making it less than ideal for outdoor applications), future versions of the project will sport batteries (of course), sensors for monitoring water quality, cameras for peeping stuff, and even bacteria for breaking down pollutants (think: Exxon Valdez). These applications are all well and good, but as usual, all we really wanna know is: could it take down RoboSnake in a land-and-sea grudge match?

[Via Robot Gossip]