Stickybot is a Spy in the Sky
The Geico lizard might be nervous as there appears to be a new reptile in town that is aiming to grab some attention.
Well, it's not actually a reptile, to be be honest. And it has nothing to do with car insurance. But it will likely steal some of the thunder away from the amiable reptile that hawks auto insurance.
The Stickybot is actually a robotic lizard that can scale the sides of walls, and it is modeled after a gecko, any of numerous small tropical lizards that have toe pads that can cling to small surfaces. While some may view Stickybot as an oddity, the Pentagon is taking it seriously. It thinks the device could someday serve as a "spy in the sky" to watch over America's enemies, according to ABC News.
The robot was invented by Sangbae Kim, who notes that it can climb glass surfaces at about a meter per second using a feature on the bottom of its toe. The feature is covered with nano-scale hairs.
According to Kim's Web site, he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea in 2001 before joining a startup company, Solutionix, in Seoul. He went on to earn a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and is currently completing a doctorate in the Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory at the Stanford Center for Design Research. He has created several robots and has three pending patents.