Robots don’t always have to look like animals to draw inspiration from them. Introducing the Timing Belt Based Climbing Platform (TBCP-II), whose ability to climb smooth vertical surfaces was inspired by the gecko.
“While our robot does not really look like a gecko, we have tried to model the design of our dry adhesives used by our robot to adhere to walls after the hair-like structures found on the foot pads of geckos,” said Jeff Krahn, research assistant with the MENRVA Research Group. “We use the gecko as inspiration for our dry adhesives because of the gecko’s ability to climb a wide variety of surfaces.”
Eventually, Krahn and his colleagues hope to use the dry adhesives they’ve developed to help their gecko robot climb vertically over even more types of smooth surfaces. Also in the works: a robotic spider that will use the same technology to climb up walls and, presumably, into your nightmares.