Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 12 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com A bio-inspired robot can use water from the environment to launch itself into the air, British researchers revealed. The robot can travel 85 feet through the air after taking off and researchers believe it could be used to collect samples in hazardous or otherwise cluttered environments, such as during a major flood. Researchers from the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at Imperial College London devised a system that requires only 0.2 grams of calcium carbide powder in a combusion chamber, with the only moving part being a small pump that delivers water from the environment where the robot sits.
A nature-inspired robot using water and combustible powder can launch itself from water like a flying fish. The device, which can travel 26 metres through the air after take-off, could potentially be used to collect water samples in hazardous environments, such as floods. Researchers at Imperial College London created the system, which weighs just 160 grams and can'jump' multiple times after refilling its water tank. Furthermore, while similar robots often require calm conditions to leap from the water, the team's invention generates a force 25 times the robot's weight, giving it a greater chance of overcoming choppy waves. The water and the calcium-carbide powder combine in a reaction chamber, producing a burnable acetylene gas.
Like a flying fish gliding above the water's surface, a robot can now propel itself out of water into flight. Mirko Kovac and his colleagues at Imperial College London have developed a robot that can lift itself out of water and travel through the air for up to 26 metres. The robot weighs 160 grams and could be used for monitoring the ocean sampling. It could take water samples by jumping in and out of the water in cluttered environments, avoiding obstacles such as ice in cold regions or floating objects after a flood. "In these situations, it's important to fly there quickly, take a sample and come back," says Kovac.
Researchers have revealed a nature-inspired RoboBee that can dive into water mid-flight, and launch itself back out for a safe landing. The design uses a'Goldilocks combination' of wing size and flapping rate, allowing for a system that's 1,000 times lighter than any other aerial-to-aquatic robot, according to the creators. Its versatility means it could prove helpful in all sorts of applications, including search-and-rescue, environmental monitoring, and biological studies. The design uses a'Goldilocks combination' of wing size and flapping rate, allowing for a system that's 1,000 times lighter than any other aerial-to-aquatic robot, according to the creators The design uses a'goldilocks combination' of wing size and flapping rate – with flaps at 220 to 300 hertz in air and nine to 13 hertz in water. To propel itself from the water, the researchers fitted the RoboBee with four buoyant outriggers – or, 'robotic floaties' – and a gas collection chamber.
Flapping two tiny wings, the small, thin robot wobbles its way towards the underside of a leaf, bumps into the surface and latches on, perching motionless above the ground. Moments later, its wings begin to flap once more and it jiggles off on its way. The little flying machine, dubbed a "RoboBee", has been designed to perch on a host of different surfaces, opening up new possibilities for the use of drones in providing a bird's-eye view of the world, scientists say. Know as micro aerial vehicles, such robots could be invaluable in reconnaissance of disaster zones or to form impromptu communication networks. But there is a hitch: flying takes energy, so the time these robots can spend in the air is limited by the size of the battery pack they can carry.