What’s great about being a kid and playing outside is that you don’t really have to think about it. You want to run around and play tag with your friends? Go for it!
Want to enjoy a campfire with the family? Step right up? Want to skip a rock? You can just willy nilly that, definitely, but if you want to be great at it, there’s actually some science to consider. YouTube DIY inventor favorite Mark Rober realized that, so he went about achieving the perfect rock skip with the help of a robot.
Through controlled experiments with the robot, Rober (and his nieces and nephews) discovered that there are four keys to the perfect rock skip: The angle of the rock relative to the water (20 degrees), the angle of the rock’s path relative to the water (also 20), a lot of spin on the rock, and also the shape and size of the rock itself (heavy with a smooth bottom is best).
Using this new information, not only did Rober and the family create a robot that can skip the heck out of a rock, but they got better at it as well, adding a ton of skips to their best throws. The video also offered a good look at the engineering and design process, since Rober goes over the finer points of the prototyping process that perhaps younger inventors may ignore or might not be aware of.
What do you think of the rick-skipping robot? Will you use its techniques to help improve your own skills this summer? Let us know what you think down in the comments!