An anonymous reader writes "SRI International, a nonprofit research and development organization, has developed a new technology that enables some robots to scale walls. The wall-climbing robots could be a boon for the US military, which could use them on reconnaissance or other missions in war zones, said Philip von Guggenberg, director of business development for SRI International, adding that the independent group has received some funding from DARPA, the technology research arm of the Pentagon. Von Guggenberg said that the new electrical adhesive technology called compliant electroadhesion, provides an electrically controllable way to stick machines to a wall. So what can they do? That adhesion lets the robots, using either feet or tracks, scale a vertical wall. They can even climb walls covered in dust and debris, or made out of concrete, wood, steel, glass, drywall, and brick. Good news is that regular robots, especially those with tracks, can be retrofitted with the technology and turned into wall climbers. Maybe if the kids are good, they'll get one for Christmas."