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Robo-Gecko Climbs Glass 143

galactic_grub writes "Researchers at Stanford have developed a robot that mimics the extraordinary climbing skills of the Gecko. These creatures can climb sheer surfaces thanks to the intermolecular forces exerted by millions of tiny hairs their feet, called setae. The robot, Stickybot, has polymer pads on its feed with synthetic setae. Check out the video of it climbing up a sheet of glass."
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Robo-Gecko Climbs Glass

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  • by Graboid ( 975267 ) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @07:40PM (#15390574)
    No spidermen, but they're certainly interested in small devices with sensors (cameras/chemicals) that can scale walls, crawl through small spaces, and go where no man has gone before.

    They also mention the rescue bot - that sounds like a great application for a collapsed building.
  • by Carnildo ( 712617 ) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @08:13PM (#15390733) Homepage Journal
    Frankly, I cant believe this tech couldnt have been done already, even twenty or thirty years ago. I have to imagine we've had the tech to do adhesiveness on demand based on an external stimuli ( such as electricity ) for many years. We have had the ability when the opposite material is metal since atleast the beginning of the space race, but even sticking to any surface on demand shouldnt be too difficult.

    The big problem with gecko gloves or any other application of this principle is keeping them clean. The same force that lets this material stick to glass makes it an absolute magnet for dirt.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall