Rock Climbing Robot Can Carry a Load, Sets Sights on Mountain Rescues
May 8, 2013 6:47 PM
comment(s) - last by
Robot could be used to scout or send stranded climbers supplies
While it weighs just a little over a kilogram (~2.2 lb), the newly minted wall-climbing robot exhibits Spiderman-like strength, hauling a load of 7 kilograms (15.4 lb) up steep surfaces.
Created by researchers at the
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich
(ETH Zürich) -- known abroad as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology -- the climber bucks the trend of past designs that used gecko-like high-surface-area attractions (via
tiny synthetic hair-like setae
) to stick to the wall. Instead, the robot uses a unique tacky adhesive.
The adhesive is heated by resistors to melt, with a melting temperature of 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit). Beyond that point it becomes a liquid, but remains tacky. The tacky adhesive penetrates cracks and crevices, fixing the robot to the surface. But when allowed to cool it recedes, freeing the robot foot to take another step.
The resulting climber has tremendous potential for use in mountain
or mining rescue
operations, either carrying imaging and audio equipment to hunt for lost hikers, or transporting supplies to hikers in difficult to reach areas. Larger models with improved adhesives could eventually be used to haul down hikers off the cliff face, but even in its current form the bot has a lot of promise.
The robot could also see use hauling light materials in high rise construction, having been tested on wood, plastic, stone and aluminum.
Liyu Wang, one of the robot's designers,
, "Our technology uses thermoplastic adhesives, which are much stronger than those used in gecko-type climbing systems. We are thinking about using this to climb cliffs or other complex natural environments, which no previous climbing technologies can handle."
on the bot was published last month in the peer-reviewed journal
IEEE Transactions on Robotics
IEEE Transactions on Robotics
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Wet Surfaces?
5/9/2013 8:58:43 AM
yea, if it works anything like those sticky hand rubber bands, it's gunna get hairy and gross pretty quick.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
UMass Amherst Researchers Create Super-Adhesive Material Based on Gecko Feet
February 17, 2012, 10:46 AM
Trapped Chilean Miners Get Sony PSPs to Escape Reality
August 30, 2010, 2:00 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Most Popular Articles
Samsung Gear S2 Borrows Circular Icons From Apple Watch
August 21, 2015, 2:48 PM
Kentucky Man Faces up to 10 Years in Prison for Shooting Drone Trespasser
August 13, 2015, 2:58 PM
Future of Lumia Uncertain as Microsoft Lays Off 2,300, Closes 1 of 3 Finnish Offices
August 24, 2015, 6:14 PM
Microsoft's Windows 10 Leaves Lumia 530 Behind w/ 8 GB Storage Requirement
August 25, 2015, 4:02 PM
Exclusive: If Intel and Micron's "Xpoint" is 3D Phase Change Memory, Boy Did They Patent It
July 29, 2015, 10:52 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information