When it comes to climbing we tend to think about it in terms of having
something to hold onto. After all if we want to climb we need hand and
food holds in order to get it done. For most robots that is true as
well. They use legs, or tracks to climb up surfaces with traction. But
what about a new type of robots. One exception in nature is the gecko,
who is a lot more than an insurance company spokes person. They are able
to walk on just about anything, with the notable exception of Teflon.
The gecko is now inspiration for a new robot. The bot, made by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology,
uses sticky foot pads to climb like the lizard. The robot has feet with
a sticky substance. The substance melts at a low temperature, creating a
sticky goo that allows the bot to attach itself to the walls and climb.
For obvious reasons the bot has to be light, so it is made out of
plastic instead of metal.
Image: Morgue File