Monday, Nov. 13, 2006

Leapin' Lizards

Real geckos skitter up walls, thanks to millions of tiny hairs on the bottom of each toe. These hairs, called setae, cling fast as the creature pulls up, then gently detach when it's time to take the next step. Such was the inspiration for Stickybot, a mechanical lizard with its own adhesive feet. The hundreds of sharply tapered synthetic fibers that pad the bot's four appendages replicate the gecko's fancy footwork, including an elegant toe-curl release, to climb glass, tile or whiteboard at a rate of 4 cm/sec.

Inventor: Sangbae Kim, Mark Cutkosky and team at Stanford University
Availability: Prototype only
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