In nature, cockroaches can survive underwater for up to 30 minutes.
Now, a robotic cockroach can do even better.
This next generation HAMR uses multifunctional foot pads that rely on surface tension and surface tension induced buoyancy when HAMR needs to swim but can also apply a voltage to break the water surface when HAMR needs to sink.
Using four pairs of asymmetric flaps and custom designed swimming gaits, HAMR robo-paddles on the water surface to swim.
"This research demonstrates that microrobotics can leverage small-scale physics -- in this case surface tension -- to perform functions and capabilities that are challenging for larger robots," said Kevin Chen, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and first author of the paper.
It's coated in Parylene to keep it from shorting under water.