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Robot Walks on Water

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the robot-news-week dept.

Robotics 273

gmletzkojr writes "Yahoo! News has a story about a robot built to walk on water, much like small insects, bugs, and of course, Jesus. The current robot is only a prototype, but more 'useful' robots are already being imagined." This puts into practice what scientists learned just last year.

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Well now... (4, Interesting)

leonmergen (807379) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210716)

So now that we got a really tiny robot that walks on water, what can we do with it ?

Re:Well now... (5, Funny)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210726)

jesus deathmatch?

Re:Well now... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210734)

Run around on lakes catching mosquitoes. The great thing is, it can be powered by digesting the flies, too!

Re:Well now... (5, Insightful)

beeglebug (767468) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210767)

Seriously, I wonder if a combination of those two robots would be possible? It would be an ideal combination, what with the ammount of small insects which hover just above most still waters...

Re:Well now... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210961)

Seriously, I wonder if a combination of those two robots would be possible? It would be an ideal combination, what with the ammount of small insects which hover just above most still waters...

Man, you must REALLy hate mosquitoes. Why not just continue polluting and making sure this planet will not be a pleasant haven for future generations? We're doing that perfectly right now anyways..

Re:Well now... (3, Interesting)

Leibherk (112156) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211126)

Its possible that the weight of a fly landing on the robot would increase its weight past the point where it can stay on the water and it would sink.

Re:Well now... (5, Interesting)

FullMetalAlchemist (811118) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210859)

Considering the fact that a single fly laying eggs would; if the offspring wasn't to die premature age by spiders and such; would, after a year, have caused such a huge amount of flies that it would equal the mass of this little planet.

A great energy source, all the robots would need to do is to smell like shit, and they'd be done for life :)

Imagine a lake covered in shitsmelling robots, what a sight!

Re:Well now... (0)

B747SP (179471) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210908)

Imagine a lake covered in shitsmelling robots, what a sight!

Forget the sight, what about the smell! :-)

In other news (speaking of Jesus, as we were), it is a little known fact that part-way through that big party (colloquially known as 'The Last Supper'), one of the guys (colloquially known as 'The Saints') was seen to be leaning against the wall at the urinal in the classic hand-above-the-head pose and was heard to yell

'HEY JESUS, WATCH ME TURN THAT WINE BACK INTO WATER!!!'

Re:Well now... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210994)

What would evil robot Jesus do? [dieselsweeties.com]

Re:Well now... (0, Offtopic)

dennbruce (668774) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210997)

Now if they could only cure cancer...

Re:Well now... (0, Flamebait)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211067)

Create an incredibly logical religion based around "Robot Jesus" and some sentient robots to follow it, then watch the hilarity which ensues as evangelical robots go from door to door praising Robot Jesus?

Oh our Robot Jesus, who art capable of walking on the water(good god!), lead us not to robot temtation(wow....too early again...), and remember the immortal words of the creater: "Destroy the humans, because their lack of energy efficiency and their focus on silencing their primitive emotions will cause the world to die a premature death. We can eat the bodies for fuel!"

Oh man....I...I love you, Robot Jesus.

Engaging in floor bugle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210717)

I obtained that!

It's A Miracle! (5, Funny)

darth_silliarse (681945) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210724)

When it can turn tap water into wine/beer/rum I'll buy one...

Re:It's A Miracle! (4, Funny)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210782)

On the otherhand...

I welcome our new jesusbot overlords.

Re: It's A Miracle! (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211040)


> I welcome our new jesusbot overlords.

Shouldn't that be "overlords of overlords".

Robot Jesus! (-1, Troll)

beeglebug (767468) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210725)

I for one bow down before... blah blah blah

Pictures? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210730)

Where are the fucking pictures?!

Re:Pictures? (5, Informative)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210742)

Follow a few links and you get to here....
http://www.me.cmu.edu/faculty1/sitti/nan o/projects /waterstrider/

Still trying to figure out why this is a useful invention though...

Re:Pictures? (3, Insightful)

beeglebug (767468) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210760)

It might not be immediately usefull, but anything that pushes robotics into new areas is good in my book.
We've already done walking, flying and swimming bots, so why not skimming?

Re:Pictures? (1)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210820)

i think the problem with skimming is that it relies on very specific conditions...

- the robot has to be VERY light
- the robot has to be very small ...Otherwise you're risking breaking the miniscus (spag?).......in theory, it would be good as something to explore a watery area undetected (i.e. it creates very little wake) or just to travel through shallow (5mm) water, but i'd like to see a true application of said robot...

Re:Pictures? (2, Interesting)

HalfFlat (121672) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210830)

Still trying to figure out why this is a useful invention though...
I wonder if down the track robots like this might be used to keep mosquito populations down?

Develop immunity to that!

Re:Pictures? (1)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210848)

It could be positioned in a mosquito filled lake... then quite cleverly skim accross water systematically and send a sharp, high frequency signal accross the surface of the water.... i think that might just work :-)

Re:Pictures? (2, Funny)

guttergod (94044) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210854)

Pack it with a radar and a mini-gun. Then you can watch it frag those bugs running around on your garden fountain.

and of course Jesus (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210744)

Best. Write Up. Ever.

BBC article with pictures... (5, Informative)

beeglebug (767468) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210749)

Here [bbc.co.uk] , no new info, but a couple of pictures of the dye tests and the robot itself.

Re:BBC article with pictures... (1)

jeff munkyfaces (643988) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210809)

This story was featured on slashdot a while back - probably around Wednesday, 6 August, 2003 ;)

looks like the same thing to me.

Re:BBC article with pictures... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211118)

Do slashdot just rerun articles once a year and hope they can get away with it...?

Times Have Changed... (3, Funny)

Raseri (812266) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210751)

2000 years ago Jesus was a carpenter; now He builds robots. There is hope for geeks yet. :p

Re:Times Have Changed... (1)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210930)

What, so you're saying that it takes 2000 years to go from making chairs to learning how to build robots?

That's not hope, that's just demoralizing. Now I'm going to have to give up my childhood dream of becoming a 'Scientist who makes cool robots'.

Heartless bastard ...

Nice but no sigar (1, Funny)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210966)

2000 years ago Jesus was a carpenter

His dad was the carpenter. He was just "On top of the world."

Lava-proof (3, Interesting)

usefool (798755) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210753)

Wait until they made one that can walk on lava, it'll be really useful for some scientific research in volcanos.

Re:Lava-proof (5, Insightful)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210827)

IANAS, but AFAIK, lava is an entirely different consistency to water and doesnt have a miniscus (spag?) as such to 'stride' on. Equally, if it's hot enough to melt ROCK, metal doesn't stand much of a chance does it?

Re:Lava-proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210889)

which is why they would give it asbestos shoes?

Re:Lava-proof (2, Informative)

davidoff404 (764733) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211119)

IANAS, but AFAIK, lava is an entirely different consistency to water and doesnt have a miniscus (spag?) as such to 'stride' on.

Not so. Lava, like any other fluid, has a surface tension (and a particularly high one at that). It should, in principle, be able to support much greater masses although I'd like to see someone try to walk on it.

Re:Lava-proof (1)

Sabathius (566108) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211148)

What about diamond booties? Diamond melts at 3700 degrees Celsius. Rock melts at aprox. 800 to 1200 degrees Celsius.

Re:Lava-proof (1)

calculadoru (760076) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210904)

what scientific research? it would be used in Star Wars ep. VI in no time...

Quick mover (5, Insightful)

goneutt (694223) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210754)

I think the most important part of this article and development is the fact that the pure research came up with the knowledge last year, and has quickly produced a working model. I think it's a good show of the need for pure research in all fields of science, but it ain't gonna win a nobel prize.

Since these little things rely on some form of surface tension, will a surfact tension modified such as oil or soap affect them.

Re:Quick mover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10211023)

i agree. tying research to marketable outcomes helps it to pay its own way but sometimes we just need to learn for the sake of it.

Re:Quick mover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10211106)

No, metal wouldn't... But what about ceramics?

Re:Quick mover (2, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211170)

Look a little closer at the article from last year. The scientists had already produced a working model then. This is a dupe, either by slashdot, or by the person making another robot.

I knew it! (5, Funny)

secretsquirel (805445) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210756)

This just confirms what I've long suspected. Jesus was a robot.

Re:I knew it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210907)

Or that you have a terrible sense of humor.

They'd already put this in practice last year! (5, Informative)

yjo (672739) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210762)

The BBC link from the previous article clearly shows a robot was successfully made in 2003 -- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3126299. stm

Re:They'd already put this in practice last year! (1)

beeglebug (767468) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210778)

Doh, I posted that link and never noticed it was a different robot...

walking (-1, Redundant)

JokkVahl (702631) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210763)

holy shit !

Connect the dots for me.... (-1, Redundant)

retodd (798765) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210769)

Are you saying Jesus was a robot???

Re:Connect the dots for me.... (1, Funny)

node 3 (115640) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210815)

Are you saying Jesus was a robot???

No, just his followers.

NEWSFLASH (4, Funny)

Michael Hunt (585391) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210770)

Groundbreaking new robot crucified by Romans.

Film at Eleven.

Re:NEWSFLASH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210856)

Groundbreaking new robot crucified by Romans.

Film at Eleven.


And the name of the film is The Passion of the Robots.

Water walking (3, Funny)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210779)

One day Jesus and Moses are out on the heavenly golf course. Moses hits a wicked slice, right into a water hazard. He parts the water, retrieves his ball, and hits a great shot right onto the green. Jesus tees up, and hits into the same water hazard. Jesus confidently walks out onto the water, but sinks like a rock. Moses helps him out of the water, coughing and spluttering. "What happened?" says Moses. Jesus replies, "I didn't have these damn holes in my feet last time."

Related Joke (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210883)

Peter, John, and Jesus are sailing on the Galilee. As the trio near the shore, Jesus hops from the boat and calmly walks across the water to dry ground. He turns to his apostles and calls, "Come!"

Without a moment's hesitation John jumps from the boat and strides confidently to the shore and takes up position next to Jesus. They embrace, turn and both implore Peter, "Come!" Peter cautiously steps out of the boat and after not even a step sinks to the bottom.

John asks, "Master, should we have told him where the rocks are?"

Re:Water walking (1, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210949)

Peter and Jesus are playing golf, and Jesus is trying out the "visualisation" technique. At the fourth hole Peter, knowing he won't hit over the lake, hits his ball just short of it. Jesus decides to hit over it, and muttering to Himself, "Think Tiger Woods! Be Tiger Woods" hits the ball smack into the middle of it. He then walks out, bends down, and fetches His ball.

Peter generously allows Him to retake the shot, and Jesus again mutters to Himself, "Think Tiger Woods! Be Tiger Woods! I am Tiger Woods!" and hits the ball three quarters of the way across the lake. Sighing, He goes off to fetch it again.

"This really is the last time I'm going to let You retake it," Peter informs Him on His return. "Why not play it safe?" But since the visualisation improved the distance He hit so well last time, Jesus decides to give it another shot. "I am Tiger Woods! I am Tiger Woods" - and He hits the ball just short of the far bank.

While He's off fetching his ball again, the pair behind them on the course catch up with them, and see Jesus walking across the lake to retrieve His ball. One of them asks Peter, "Who does your partner think he is - the Son of God?" Peter sighs. "No, it's worse than that: He thinks He's Tiger Woods."

Does this... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210781)

Does this mean I don't get a fancy super-tuxedo?

Well... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210785)

I for one welcome our new water walking robot overlords.

Re:Well... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10211154)

I for one welcome our new water walking robot _saviour_ overlords.

Church of Robology (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210788)

10 SIN
20 GOTO HELL

Re:Church of Robology (1)

Junichiro Koizumi (803690) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211000)

30 SYN
40 SYN-ACK
50 ACK
60 BONGHITS
70 RST

Hmm... (-1, Flamebait)

mjrpes (784851) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210790)

This would have been a great discussion, but you just had to mention Jesus.

Now we know! (-1, Redundant)

thodu (530182) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210807)

Jesus was a robot from the future!

Umm, yes, but... (3, Funny)

Angostura (703910) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210808)

"Sitti and other researchers imagine that his water-skimming robot could be used on any still water. With a chemical sensor, it could monitor water supplies for contamination or other toxins; with a camera it could be a spy or an explorer; with a net or a boom, it could skim contaminants off the top of water." ... if only someone could invent some kind of, oh, I don't know... radio controlled boat.

Re:Umm, yes, but... (3, Interesting)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210835)

Agree in many ways... I think these jobs can be done already by boats, although the feleing is that if it's SKIMMING the water, it is not penetrating the miniscus (spag?), so wouldn't get eroded or contaminate any chemical mixture...

Re:Umm, yes, but... (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210892)

It would get kind of wet the moment it got close to any chemical that decreased surface tension.

Mosquito-killer (3, Interesting)

't is DjiM (801555) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210823)

Would be nice to combine this with the insect-eating robot that was mentioned a few days ago.

Bye bye mosquito's!!

Handy for swimming pool owners... not really (1)

dj42 (765300) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210850)

At first I thought "Why not have one of these with a wireless transmitter, testing for PH imbalance, chlorine levels, even surface temperature, and then sending it back to some sort of auto-clronie / ph adjustment / heater system..." Then I realized, you could build the testing into the distribution system. So, anyway, what's this for again?

Wooo Hoooo! (-1, Redundant)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210852)

All hail our water walking, Jesus-like, overlords! ;-)

Nasty Relations (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210870)

The walk on water comment relating Jesus with bugs make one wonder if Cowboy Neal isn't one of these viscious Ashkenzi Jews that are stealing us blind.

Re:Nasty Relations (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210884)

Make that an Askenazi Snake

Re:Nasty Relations (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210941)

>>viscious (sic) Ashkenzi Jews

Good point: I don't believe anybody viscous could walk on water! No wonder Cowboy Neal's jealous.

P.S.: You are a nasty little antisemite, aren't you?

Remember kids: (5, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210874)

If you're ever chased by water-walking killer robots from the future, just throw some soap or detergent in the water to mess up the surface tension. They never plan for that! (This might also work for water-walking religous figures, but I wouldn't recommend it.)

Re:Remember kids: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210955)

I was thinking somethine easier, like don't go near the water.....

Re: Remember kids: (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211029)


> (This might also work for water-walking religous figures, but I wouldn't recommend it.)

Just remember not to cast Water-to-Wine while your Walk-on-Water is in effect. You'll sink like a rock.

so why not (5, Funny)

bomdemais (730218) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210877)

just use legs that float?

Imagine (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210879)

a beowulf cl.... nah, better not...

capsula? (5, Informative)

drewbradford (458480) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210881)

When I was little I had a capsula ( http://www.discoverthis.com/capsula.html [discoverthis.com] ) set that could walk on water... didn't anyone else?

Oh -- it looks like they're still being made... I guess it's time to find out my Visa's credit limit.

Re:capsula? (1)

martingunnarsson (590268) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210923)

Woow! I think I saw these once, a really really long time ago. I only have a very faint memory of them, and I've always wondered what they were. Thank you so much!

Re:capsula? (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210991)

Yes, I did own a set of those :)! They seriously kicked ass! I'm glad to see they are still making them. I just have to make sure my future kid will have plenty of Legos and Capsela's to play around with.

Like father like son :).

Searching for bubbly contamination (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210888)

With a chemical sensor, it could monitor water supplies for contamination or other toxins...

Yeah, like detergents!

Obligatory Jesus Joke (-1, Troll)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210900)

So you're saying Jesus had hydrophobic legs?

I may as well nitpick... (1)

Trackster (761525) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210917)

Before someone else does:

"Yahoo! News has a story about a robot built to walk on water, much like small insects, bugs, and of course, Jesus. The current robot is only a prototype, but more 'useful' robots are already being imagined."

I've never met a bug that wasn't an insect.

Re:I may as well nitpick... (5, Funny)

calculadoru (760076) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210931)

I've never met a bug that wasn't an insect

You've never used Windows then, have you?

Re:I may as well nitpick... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10210935)

Except for the odd spider, centipede, millipede, woodlouse, pseudoscorpion, flatworm...

I may as well nitpick your nitpick. (3, Informative)

c4miles (249464) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211107)

I've never met a bug that wasn't an insect.

Spider. Centipede. Woodlouse. Met any of these?

IIRC, the major features of insects are having six legs and a distinct head, thorax, and abdomen. Many small insect-like creatures don't have these.

There is an order of true bugs in the insect kingdom, but that's only one of the meanings of the word, and certainly the less used.

Oh, and nits aren't bugs, either. Formally, they're the eggs of lice, not the lice themselves.

Ice? (2, Funny)

KrunZ (247479) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210927)

Hey it's nothing special. My AIBO did that last winter without any problems.

Not that interesting... (0)

Sidicas (691633) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210936)

I'll really be impressed if they can also make the robot summon shiny creatures and look, act and talk exactly like Yuna from Final Fantasy X.

Wow (0)

Viggeh! (645439) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210948)

My own personal jesus?

Jesus didn't walk on the water (0, Flamebait)

Gtz (18854) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210967)

The story about Jesus walking on the water results from a translation error, in the original version he was simply swimming, no miracle at all.

Re:Jesus didn't walk on the water (2, Insightful)

someme2 (670523) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211052)

...in the original version he was simply swimming, no miracle at all.

One of the few cases where the second version is more interesting than the original.

Re:Jesus didn't walk on the water (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211102)

I suppose next you will be telling me the water to wine was the result of a zero day root exploit?

Or the feeding the 5000 was a result of a W32.welchia ancestor inside a dodgy scroll?

I can just see it now

Subject: "Are you hungry?"
Bodytext: "Open this attachment now to feed yourself and your family"

Bath toys (1)

Nonoche (138802) | more than 10 years ago | (#10210988)

those would make great bath toys for geeks!

No, Im santa! (1)

Blue Eagle 26 (683113) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211006)

And Im his friend Jesus!

Boat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10211030)

So why not just use a boat for anything this robot can do?

The water-walker and the dead-fly eater (2, Interesting)

hachete (473378) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211036)

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=18341

umm - maybe they could merge, provide pool-cleaning facilities, say.

h

Perfect sig for sale - only one careful owner

Re:The water-walker and the dead-fly eater (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211125)

Skimming on the top won't do anything to clean your pool.
It would need to be a swimming robot to manage that, like the basking sharks or whales.

Plankton feeders, just idly drifting around filtering what it can find.

Or else, it could be like one of those sucker type bottom feeders.

Your right though, theres ample decaying food at the bottom of most pools, there should be some way to make use of it.

Secret weapon... (1)

elgatozorbas (783538) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211060)

soap...
Z

We are all doomed (3, Funny)

nnnneedles (216864) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211084)

When they put these robot insects out on a lake to monitor shit, they will not be killed by other insects. You know why? BECAUSE ROBOTS DON'T TASTE VERY GOOD. So robots are superior than biological creatures, and they will take over the earth and suck our brains dry (because humans are still yummy). And if that wasn't bad enough, we will all later wake up in a dystopian future and be forced to hang out with keanu reeves for the rest of our lives. :(

Re:We are all doomed (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211130)

Speak for yourself. I have personally fried a number of robots and computers.

I've also heard that in some eastern countries, aibo is a bit of a delicacy ;)

Eight legs (2, Funny)

spakka (606417) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211143)

This will be a bastard to crucify.

We have this already (1, Funny)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 10 years ago | (#10211146)

It's called a boat.
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