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Science & Technology

Geckos inspire real-life Spider-Man suit

By T.K. Randall
November 19, 2014 · Comment icon 8 comments

The system is certainly not as fast as the web-slinging superhero. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Rameshng
Scientists have developed a sophisticated new system that can enable someone to climb up a glass wall.
Researchers working for the US military have based the design on geckos which use bristles on their feet that split in to nano-sized tips capable of gripping even the smoothest of surfaces.

The wall climbing mechanism uses two hand pads made from silicone covered in tiny ridges that can hold on to surfaces in much the same way as the gecko's feet, bonding to the wall using microscopic slanting wedges whenever a weight is applied.
To aid the user in hauling themselves up a vertical surface without hanging only from their hands the pads also include a set of foot rests connected to the pads via a metal pole.

"Unfortunately ‘spider suits' ignore some basic ergonomic issues," said engineer Mark Cutkosky. "People have much greater strength in their legs than in their arms."

"Therefore we think one needs a system where the hands are used to gently attach and detach the adhesive tiles. A system of cables and links transfers the load to the feet."



Source: The Guardian | Comments (8)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by bubblykiss 10 years ago
Geckos, saving me 15% in 15m and inspiring scientists to create something truly useless. Is there nothing geckos can't do? Other than escape from my cat. They can't seem to do that.
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin 10 years ago
Can geckos(or the suit) climb-up a stone wall? Or does this just functionally work on a "glass" wall?
Comment icon #3 Posted by ancient astronaut 10 years ago
We have Geckos here, and they can pretty much climb anything and everything.
Comment icon #4 Posted by shrooma 10 years ago
"spider-man, spider-man, does whatever a spider can!" . don't see him eating many flies, do you....? .
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 10 years ago
Geckos, saving me 15% in 15m and inspiring scientists to create something truly useless. Is there nothing geckos can't do? Other than escape from my cat. They can't seem to do that. Well everyone knows that! But did you know that Tarzan got his yell when Jane missed the vine?
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin 10 years ago
So, I take it that nano-tech, or whatever is involved, is currently not sufficiently evolved to allow a "spider-man" suit climbing on all surfaces excepting glass at this time. Seems like a lot of effort is being placed on the "Gecko-effect"(van der Waals forces). Maybe this will get more advanced.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Calibeliever 10 years ago
I want it
Comment icon #8 Posted by freetoroam 10 years ago
Jeeze what is it with you men and boys toys.....use the lift.


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