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"Oil Strider" Device Mimics Water Strider Insects

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the tech-imitates-life dept.

Science 39

LilaG writes "Who hasn't marveled at the ability of water bugs to skate along the surface of lakes and ponds? Now materials scientists in China have taken a cue from water striders and created a device that can coast along the surface between oil and water. The tricky part was figuring out how to make an oil-repelling surface that worked underwater. It came down to coating copper wires with copper oxide microstructures that look like flowers made up of nanopetals. Scientists think such coatings could enable robots that clean up oil spills, bug-proof car windshields, and ship hulls that don't build up barnacles."

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39 comments

Gosty VKontakte (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242089)

http://GostyVkontakte.ru

If the Chinese can make this (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40242203)

then the Americans should be able to make a robot that walks on air

Re:If the Chinese can make this (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#40242217)

It's called a drone, maybe you have heard of them?

Re:If the Chinese can make this (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40242229)

I mean, if the Chinese can create a robot that "walk", or "stride" on water, the American should be able to come up with something that "walk" or 'stride" on air.

Not "fly", but "walk" or "stride"

As for the "drone", the Chinese and the Russian already have their own versions of "drones"

Re:If the Chinese can make this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242351)

I have no idea what you are trying to say.

WEE-TODD-DID! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40244409)

microstructures that look like flowers made up of nanopetals.

Can we say RETARDED?
 
WEE-TODD-DID!

Re:If the Chinese can make this (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#40242625)

Then you are possibly referring to a sailboat? Seriously bath salts are bad mmm'kay?

Re:If the Chinese can make this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242411)

The Chinese need these so their bugs can walk on their icky rivers and lakes.

Re:If the Chinese can make this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242525)

"then the Americans should be able to make a robot that walks on air"

But it will never be as awesome as Captain China.

Re:If the Chinese can make this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40243399)

you could have this if you convince the United Corporations of America to invest in the workers of the UCA, but they cost to much and the UCA don't get to feel like slave owners.

Re:If the Chinese can make this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40246775)

Oh drop the anti-corporate rhetoric - corporations made us what we are - and we DID invent a machine that can walk on the air, it's called a fucking plane you degenerate.

I, For One, Welcome Our New Wire Overlords (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242097)

I, For One, Welcome Our New Wire Overlords

I haven't (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 2 years ago | (#40242119)

"Who hasn't marveled at the ability of water bugs to skate along the surface of lakes and ponds?"

Re:I haven't (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242325)

Your childhood was not awesome.

Re:I haven't (4, Funny)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#40242701)

Or may be, he could skate along the surface of water too, and finds nothing marvelous about it. You never know who you talk to, on the Internet.

Re:I haven't (1)

mlmjunction (2657127) | about 2 years ago | (#40245669)

Or may be, he could skate along the surface of water too, and finds nothing marvelous about it. You never know who you talk to, on the Internet.

I like u.................

Re:I haven't (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#40250309)

Neither. I was taught about surface tension a long, long time ago. There are also not many water walking bugs where I come from.

clean up oil spills? (1)

pahles (701275) | about 2 years ago | (#40242355)

In oil spills, the oil floats on top of the wate, not the other way around. How can this help clean up oil spills?

Re:clean up oil spills? (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 2 years ago | (#40242499)

It'll still reject the oil, but the new thing is that this thing won't sink in oil instantly if a drop of water gets on it.

Re:clean up oil spills? (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 2 years ago | (#40242713)

In oil spills, the oil floats on top of the wate, not the other way around. How can this help clean up oil spills?

If you read the summary, you'd learn that these things stride on the border between the oil and water, not between the oil and air - they're in the perfect place to clean up the oil.

If you clicked on the link, you could have even just looked at the picture [acs.org]. Then you wouldn't have had to read anything. Slashdot Posters: Lowering Expectations Daily.

Re:clean up oil spills? (3, Informative)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 2 years ago | (#40243135)

And the picture clearly shows that the thing walks on an oil water air construct, where the oil is at the bottom, hence your parents question :D

Re:clean up oil spills? (1)

deathlyslow (514135) | about 2 years ago | (#40243271)

In oil spills, the oil floats on top of the wate, not the other way around. How can this help clean up oil spills?

I know it is not for the faint of heart but a quote from the article below means for the test they used an oil that is denser than water, so that means it's below the water/air barrier.

To test the surfaceâ(TM)s ability to repel oil, Wangâ(TM)s team placed the wires underwater and added droplets of 1,2-dichloroethane, an oil that is denser than water, to their surfaces.

Who really made this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242557)

Chinks stole this technology. They always steal. It's all they know how to do well.

Until you open-source it (0)

FritzSolms (859937) | about 2 years ago | (#40242579)

Until you either open-source it or until you have enabled the organization to maintain the software by themselves :)

interesting but nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242927)

A device with a ultrarough coating on the undercarriage that is coated with a oleophobic (water and oil hating) substance, such as flourinated polmyers. Its nothing new in the field of superhydrophobicscoatings development....

The main issue withing the field right now is a scalable synthesis process which makes a hard coating. MOst coatings of this type are extremely weak due to the inherent nano-scaled roughness or porosity existing through the material

I'm horrible (2)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#40242991)

could enable robots that clean up oil spills

Yeah yeah how great for humani..

bug-proof car windshields

Oh glorious age of science!

I know I'm a terrible person.. but as someone who does a fair bit of highway driving.. I really hope they roll that one out. While they are at it.. paint up my hood and bumper too (much harder to clean).

Re:I'm horrible (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#40247369)

I know I'm a terrible person.. but as someone who does a fair bit of highway driving.. I really hope they roll that one out.

What about something like Rain X windshield wash? It's basically a waxy coating that lets stuff slide off it so the water tends to form droplets instead of sheeting.

While they are at it.. paint up my hood and bumper too (much harder to clean).

Again, wouldn't a good coat of wax help here? Stuff might stick to the wax, but it should clean off easier.

Water Strider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40243263)

That's funny, I thought you said Walter Strider.

Re:Water Strider? (1)

HeLLFiRe1151 (743468) | about 2 years ago | (#40243631)

Everyone else calls them Water Skippers.

Re:Water Strider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40245689)

Everyone else calls them Water Skippers.

Gerridae is a family of true bugs in the order Hemiptera, commonly known as water striders, water bugs, magic bugs, pond skaters, skaters, skimmers, water scooters, water skaters, water skeeters, water skimmers, water skippers, water spiders, or Jesus bugs. [wikipedia.org]

Where I grew up they were water bugs or water spiders. I never used the second name, because they clearly aren't spiders.

Stop Copying (1)

organgtool (966989) | about 2 years ago | (#40243677)

These Chinese scientists should start inventing their own technology rather than ripping off Mother Nature's intellectual property.

Re:Stop Copying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40254861)

Evolution is so slow that pretty much everything cool is in the public domain now.

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