Robotics

Lizard-inspired amphibious robot runs across the water

Lizard-inspired amphibious rob...
The AmphiSTAR robot, pictured here moving from water to land
The AmphiSTAR robot, pictured here moving from water to land
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The AmphiSTAR robot crawls down a stream
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The AmphiSTAR robot crawls down a stream
The AmphiSTAR robot, pictured here moving from water to land
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The AmphiSTAR robot, pictured here moving from water to land
A rear view of the AmphiSTAR robot
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A rear view of the AmphiSTAR robot
The AmphiSTAR robot is also cockroach-inspired, in that it scuttles across the ground like one of the insects
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The AmphiSTAR robot is also cockroach-inspired, in that it scuttles across the ground like one of the insects
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The basilisk is also known as the"Jesus Christ Lizard," due to the fact that it can run across the surface of the water. A new version of an existing type of robot does the same thing, plus it's capable of traversing rough terrain.

Developed by a team at Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the basilisk-inspired AmphiSTAR is the latest member of the institution's STAR family of robots.

The original FSTAR (Flying Sprawl-Tuned Autonomous Robot) featured adjustable-angle spreadable arms with wheels on one side and propellers on the other. This setup allowed it to roll along the ground like a car, or fly like a quadcopter.

The subsequent RSTAR (Rising Sprawl-Tuned Autonomous Robot) kept the round wheels on one side, but replaced the propellers with spoked rimless wheels on the other. It moved across flat terrain using the round wheels, but then actually flipped itself over to use the spoked wheels for going over rough, uneven ground.

The "palm-sized" AmphiSTAR retains the outrigger-like spreadable arms, which are now equipped with a total of four paddle-bladed propellers – two on the underside of each arm.

When moving across surfaces such as grass or gravel, the arms are angled so that the propeller blades function like the RSTAR's rimless spoked wheels, digging in and pulling the robot forward. This configuration allows it to crawl at a maximum speed of 3.6 meters per second (11.8 ft/s).

Upon reaching a body of water, it continues to use the propellers, which are now angled to let it "run on the water" at up to 1.5 m/s (4.9 ft/s). That said, it can also move across the water in a slower more boat-like fashion, with a pair of buoyancy tanks keeping it afloat. Future plans include giving it the ability to swim underwater.

The AmphiSTAR robot is also cockroach-inspired, in that it scuttles across the ground like one of the insects
The AmphiSTAR robot is also cockroach-inspired, in that it scuttles across the ground like one of the insects

"We envision that AmphiSTAR can be used for agricultural, search and rescue and excavation applications, where both crawling and swimming are required," says Dr. David Zarrouk, director of the university's Bioinspired and Medical Robotics Laboratory.

The robot was presented last week via the online International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, and can be seen in action in the video below.

Source: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev via EurekAlert

Amphibious STAR is a high speed robot capable of crawling over land and hovering over water

View gallery - 4 images
3 comments
alexD
I'm not sure if I see it as the jesus lizard or a platypus ... or both...
WB
More Platypussy than Basilisk. Have to say it gets more and more annoying when scientists make these grandiose terms that is really just a bunch of bolony. I expected a device that doesnt break the water surface or is more agile, rather than an inverted helicopter according to their definition a jetski could be called Jesus as long as you ride it vertically...
niio
This was supposed to run across water but it is clearly supported by floats.