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The device, which can travel 26 meters in the air after taking off, may be used to collect water samples in hazardous environments such as floods

& # 39; Flying fish & # 39; robot can move 26 meters above the surface and can be used to collect water samples in floods or polluted seas

  • The robot is designed at Imperial College in London and uses combustible powder and water
  • This creates a miniature explosion that pushes the water out like a jet stream
  • Impressive, it creates so much power that it can escape even turbulent water
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A nature-inspired robot that uses water and combustible powder can launch itself from water like a flying fish.

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The device, which can travel 26 meters in the air after takeoff, may 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 & # 39; jump & # 39; after topping up the water tank.

In addition, while similar robots often require calm conditions to jump out of the water, the team's invention generates a force that is 25 times the weight of the robot, making it more likely to overcome jerky waves.

The device, which can travel 26 meters in the air after taking off, may be used to collect water samples in hazardous environments such as floods

The device, which can travel 26 meters in the air after taking off, may be used to collect water samples in hazardous environments such as floods

HOW DOES IT WORK?

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The water and the calcium carbide powder are combined in a reaction chamber and produce a combustible acetylene gas.

While the gas ignites and expands, it pushes the water out like a jet, which drives the robot out of the water and into a maximum slide of 26 meters.

Impressive, it creates so much power that it can escape even turbulent water.

This allows it to float on water and take samples at multiple points without extra power, saving energy over longer distances compared to an electrically driven robot.

The water and the calcium carbide powder are then combined in a reaction chamber to produce a combustible acetylene gas.

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While the gas ignites and expands, it pushes the water out like a jet, which drives the robot out of the water and into a maximum slide of 26 meters.

The only moving part is a small pump that brings water from the environment in which the robot sits, such as a lake or an ocean.

It also requires only 0.2 grams of calcium carbide powder in a combustion chamber.

Principal investigator Dr. Mirko Kovac, director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at Imperial, said: & # 39; Water-air transition is an energy-intensive process that is difficult to achieve on a small-scale flying vehicle that must be lightweight before the flight.

& # 39; We have used water-reactive chemicals to reduce the materials that the robot must wear.

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& # 39; Because the chamber fills passively and the ambient water acts as a piston, we can create a complete combustion cycle with only one moving part, namely the pump that mixes the water with the fuel. & # 39;

The team tested the robot in a laboratory, in a lake and in a wave tank, which showed that it can escape from the water surface even under relatively harsh conditions.

Although similar robots often require calm conditions to jump out of the water, the team's invention generates a force that is 25 times the weight of the robot, making it more likely to overcome waves

Although similar robots often require calm conditions to jump out of the water, the team's invention generates a force that is 25 times the weight of the robot, making it more likely to overcome waves

Although similar robots often require calm conditions to jump out of the water, the team's invention generates a force that is 25 times the weight of the robot, making it more likely to overcome waves

The water and the calcium carbide powder are then combined in a reaction chamber to produce a combustible acetylene gas. As the gas ignites and expands, it pushes the water out like a jet, pushing the robot out of the water

The water and the calcium carbide powder are then combined in a reaction chamber to produce a combustible acetylene gas. As the gas ignites and expands, it pushes the water out like a jet, pushing the robot out of the water

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The water and the calcium carbide powder are then combined in a reaction chamber to produce a combustible acetylene gas. As the gas ignites and expands, it pushes the water out like a jet, pushing the robot out of the water

The team is now working with the Swiss Federal Laboratory of Materials Science and Technology (Empa) to build new vehicles using advanced materials and to launch field trials of the robot in various environments, including monitoring the oceans around coral reefs and offshore energy platforms .

Raphael Zufferey, lead author on the paper said: “This kind of low-power, tether-free robots can really be useful in environments that are normally time and resource intensive to control, even after disasters such as floods or nuclear accidents. & # 39;

The details of the robot are published today in Science Robotics.

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