StickyBot is a robot designed by researchers at Stanford Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Lab as part of the Robots in Scansorial Environments project (RiSE). The robotic gecko tests their hypotheses about the "requirements for mobility on vertical surfaces using dry adhesion. The main point is that we don't need more adhesion, we need controllable adhesion."
The site boils down the "key ingredients" as follows:
* hierarchical compliance for conforming at centimeter, millimeter and micrometer scales,
* anisotropic dry adhesive materials and structures so that we can control adhesion by controlling shear,
* distributed active force control that works with compliance and anisotropy to achieve stability.
In layman's terms, all of the above means someone should buy us one for Christmas.
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That is just too cool. Someone should buy me one for Christmas, too! Stanford needs to investigate the toy market; they could fund lots of research that way...
That is really wierd and neat at the same time!