Ex-NASA engineer and a YouTube inventor, Mark Rober has created a perfect rock-skipping robot. The robot’s performance is not only impressive, but it can also teach how to skip rocks better. Rober built the robot by making changes to a clay pigeon thrower, creating wooden custom throwing arms and a base to give stability. Once he developed the complete prototype, his nieces and nephew gave the makeover to make it Skippa – the rock throwing robot. They used spray paints and added giant googly eyes.
The team narrowed down the variables which help achieve the perfect rock skip. The wrist angle of the robot, the arm angle of the robot, and the rocks which are used. To create standard controls for the robot tests, Rober and his team made their rocks using unfired clay. The robot was tested dong some unsuccessful skips. It started shooting rocks jumping across the water in over 60 skips per throw.
The perfect way to throw a rock according to Rober is that the rock should hit at 20-degree angle to the water with a 20-degree path and a higher throw for more energy. The more you flick the wrist, the better will be the results. The most important part is to select a rock which has a flat bottom. It should be heavy but not so much that it becomes difficult to handle it. Rober’s amateur team, consisting of his nieces and nephews also learned and improved their skipping to up to 16 skips.