Gecko Inspired Robot Climbs Walls

Stickybot IIIResearchers at Stanford University have created a climbing robot that has sticky feet, like those found on a gecko.  A team led by Mark Cutkosky, a professor at Stanford, have created Stickybot II.

Stickybot III uses special feet to cling to any surface.  The robot also has a long tail that helps decrease the weight load each sticky foot has to bear. The feet, inspired by a gecko, are made up of tiny hairs, each about 5 times smaller than a human hair.

The interaction between the molecules of gecko toe hair and the wall is a molecular attraction called van der Waals force. A gecko can hang and support its whole weight on one toe by placing it on the glass and then pulling it back. It only sticks when you pull in one direction – their toes are a kind of one-way adhesive, Cutkosky said.

A while back, Carnegie Mellon had also been working on a gecko inspired robot.

I wonder which gecko inspired robot would win in a race?

Click through to see Stickybot III do his Spiderman thing.

Stanford News & Stanford Biomimetics Lab


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