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Gecko Inspired Robot Climbs Walls at Stanford

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the needs-to-be-at-thinkgeek dept.

Robotics 56

telomerewhythere writes "Stanford mechanical engineer Mark Cutkosky is using the biology of a gecko's sticky foot to create a robot that climbs. In the same way the small reptile can scale a wall of slick glass, the Stickybot can climb smooth surfaces with feet modeled on the intricate design of gecko toes. The team's new project involves scaling up the material for humans. A technology called Z-Man, which would allow humans to climb with gecko adhesive, is in the works."

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One word. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33406812)

Awesome!

Niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33406816)

This site is news for nerds? Seems more like a site for sexless virgins. Go get laid, losers.

Oh yeah, niggers.

Why do niggers hate tootsie rolls?
Because they try to bite their fingers.

Gecko-Man, Gecko-Man, does whatever a gecko can... (4, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#33406850)

Just keep in mind that – thanks to the cube/square law and other physical principles – not all biological feats can be scaled up or down.

Re:Gecko-Man, Gecko-Man, does whatever a gecko can (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33406874)

not all biological feats can be scaled up or down.

Not all biological feets can be scaled up or down.

Re:Gecko-Man, Gecko-Man, does whatever a gecko can (4, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407286)

not all biological feats can be scaled up or down.

Not all biological feets can be scaled up or down.

Not all biological feet can be scaled (up or down).

Re:Gecko-Man, Gecko-Man, does whatever a gecko can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33409012)

not all biological feats can be scaled up or down.

    Not all biological feets can be scaled up or down.

Not all biological feet can be scaled (up or down).

Evolution, its everywhere.

Re:Gecko-Man, Gecko-Man, does whatever a gecko can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33407338)

Also, having seen geckos slip and fall, I wouldn't want to trust this myself.

Prototype This...? (4, Informative)

Omega Hacker (6676) | more than 4 years ago | (#33406858)

Apparently /. missed seeing this episode something like 2 years ago, where they tried this as well as another tech for climbing. The gecko foot was very hard to reproduce and didn't have the cling, while feet made of 100's of jointed fish-hooks successfully took a human a few dozen feet up a wall. Yay for old news...

Re:Prototype This...? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33406896)

Make that 4 years ago.... http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/23/2146232

Re:Prototype This...? (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407050)

But if he says it's new it must be new. Then again he also talks about robots climbing things in space.

Re:Prototype This...? (2, Informative)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408158)

Here's the history:

First Stickybot [youtube.com] (~2007)
The Gecko-Woman [youtube.com] from the "Prototype This" episode (~2008)
Third Stickybot [youtube.com] (April, this year)

How about Googling the stories before posting them? This is why it's worth checking the firehose [slashdot.org] often. There are plenty of good stories that are skipped for reasons I can't fathom, but "olds" are posted whenever they need to plug a hole in the news stream (usually on the weekend).

Re:Prototype This...? (2, Informative)

camperslo (704715) | more than 4 years ago | (#33410576)

Apparently /. missed seeing this episode something like 2 years ago...

There have been recent advances, the Stanford researcher is having better results than previous work mentioned in the earlier articles. From this one:

"The newest versions of the adhesive, developed in 2009, have a two-layer system, similar to the gecko's lamellae and setae. The "hairs" are even smaller than the ones on the first version - about 20 micrometers wide, which is five times thinner than a human hair. These versions support higher loads and allow Stickybot to climb surfaces such as wood paneling, painted metal and glass."

I wonder... (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33406940)

How much would it cost to insure something like that?

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33410212)

I dunno. I picture it being about as successful as Wile E. Coyote with suction cups. All fine and dandy going up the cliff face, until you climb onto the one loose boulder and fall with it on top of you.

Now cue the scene with the air whistling past and the nervous scramble to get atop the boulder in freefall.

Can it save you money on auto insurance? (4, Funny)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33406944)

Can it save you money on auto insurance?

Re:Can it save you money on auto insurance? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33406956)

It can save you money on going and fucking your mother up the ass.

Re:Can it save you money on auto insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33407168)

I was raised on incest you insensitive cl--hey wait, that sounds like a good idea!

Re:Can it save you money on auto insurance? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33406976)

It didnt me, and for 4 years now, yes 4 I have received a glossy full color card stock flier

OMG its actually something worse than AOL, least AOL gave me a floppy disk and the occasional tin

Re:Can it save you money on auto insurance? (1)

saboosh (1863538) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407112)

Can Mark Cutkosky's little robot bring about a whole new area of voyeurism?

Does my post repeat the subject? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33407364)

Does my post repeat the subject?

Stinky feet? (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 4 years ago | (#33406998)

A Stanford mechanical engineer is using the biology of a gecko's sticky foot to create a robot that climbs.

My feet stink too but I can't climb like a gecko.

Rereads sentence.

Oh, wait, never mind.

We did it again. (3, Funny)

ChristianMc (1627201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407006)

Robots that can climb walls, you don't say? Well, I suppose that makes it easier for them to climb into our bedrooms at night to kill us. It'll make the robot uprising that much quicker.

Re:We did it again. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33409982)

Yeah, didn't we design the stairs-weakness into robots for a good reason?

Re:We did it again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33418152)

do you have stairs in your house?

Intricate Design of Gecko Toes (0, Flamebait)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407060)

"the Stickybot can climb smooth surfaces with feet modeled on the intricate design of gecko toes." Uh oh, better not bring design or intelligence in the context of biology. You may start scaring some people.

Re:Intricate Design of Gecko Toes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33407154)

Holy crap.
Really? You're going to try to rekindle that tired old "Intelligent Design" flame war in an article about gecko feet?
Please, for the sanity of everyone everywhere, pull your head out of your ass and SHUT THE FUCK UP

Re:Intricate Design of Gecko Toes (1)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407162)

Thank you, AC. Perfect case in point.

Re:Intricate Design of Gecko Toes (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407358)

I like how he begins his post by saying,"Holy crap," and ends it with,"SHUT THE FUCK UP."

Makes perfect sense, actually. Feces are more filthy than sex and must be rendered sanitary.

overreaction? (1)

srodden (949473) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407562)

I took the post to be an humourous remark.

Design of gecko toes? (-1, Troll)

MaxSterling (30597) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407076)

"feet modeled on the intricate design of gecko toes"

Really? "Intricate design"? Not "configuration" or just "complexity"? Come on! This is Slashdot!! Gecko feet aren't "designed"! The robot's feet are designed, but the geckos' are not. They evolved.

FTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33407100)

"Sometimes science is just a matter of making something stick."

The more you know.

Can effect be enhanced by electro-statics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33407130)

I think I heard that the reason why gecko feet stick so well is because of Van de Wall molecular attraction. Could this be enhanced by applying a small electro-static charge?

Irritated by Slashdot's anti-Apple bias and hostility? A recent example, they post anti-iPad tirades but don't mention negative reviews of flash on mobile devices: (laptopmag.com). Don't log in (don't give them and their advertisers your info, remain an A/C).

Re:Can effect be enhanced by electro-statics? (2, Informative)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407860)

Could this be enhanced by applying a small electro-static charge?

Not according to this guy from Stanford [ted.com] who starts talking about geckos at 12:40 and claims electrostatic forces have no effect at 17:30.

Re:Can effect be enhanced by electro-statics? (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#33412720)

Correction- the dude is from Berkeley. [ted.com]

Re:Can effect be enhanced by electro-statics? (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 4 years ago | (#33409358)

Irritated by Slashdot's anti-Apple bias and hostility? A recent example, they post anti-iPad tirades but don't mention negative reviews of flash on mobile devices: (laptopmag.com).

You're an idiot. Perhaps you'd listen to the people who dislike Apple's Flash ban before going on about conspiracies.

It doesn't matter if Flash sucks on mobile devices, it sucks on full-powered PCs. Most of us hate it regardless just for its fucked-up UIs and instability. But we don't want anyone telling us what software we can't use. I've had a few instances on the PC where I've had to view a Flash document, like needing to open a .doc file. If it was an anti-flash warning, or flash-blocker installed by default, we'd probably never want to go around it but an absolute block on ever running the software just isn't acceptable.

In iOS you're restricted to what everyone else can handle. Welcome to kindergarten, here's your paste.

Prior art (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407136)

Sorry, already been done, sort of: Spider Boy [inhabitat.com]

so dumb so dumb (1)

drakonandor (937885) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407152)

he's climbing in your windows snatchin yo people up

Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33407160)

Slashdot - all PR - all the time.

Fuck Stanford, fuck MIT.

Re:Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33407204)

Fuck yo mama.

misplaced emphasis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33407208)

This story is like a story raving about a one million miles per fillup automobile when the real excitement is in the cold fusion reaction engine under the hood.

No offense but the real story should be "The newest versions of the adhesive, developed in 2009, have a two-layer system, similar to the gecko's lamellae and setae" (presumably NOT developed by the Cutkosky et al).

Bored by science imitates nature (1, Insightful)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407402)

I'm getting bored to tears by all these "science imitates nature" articles. Since childhood I must have read about the velcro background a hundred times. Will I have to put up with yet another dozen gecko geek articles over the next few years?

Yeah (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407834)

You'd think science would have nature completely imitated by now.

Re:Bored by science imitates nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408272)

two more shots, then you can clear your throat:

* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDaNkff5Yyg (penguin)
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5JHMpLIqO4 (ant)

Re:Bored by science imitates nature (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#33414036)

I'm getting bored to tears by all these "science imitates nature" articles.

Engineers have been using nature as a source of inspiration for hundreds of years, but clueless journalists "discover" it every few weeks.

The curious thing is that everyone is so keen to take ideas from nature without ever a thought of payment. Haven't they considered that without due recompense nature will stop coming up with ideas for people to imitate?

Not the first effort (1)

mike.mondy (524326) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407482)

The TFA doesn't mention prior efforts. Here's one -- From an April 2009 slashdot:

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/09/1927217 [slashdot.org] :

AndreV writes "Biomimetic adhesives aren't new, but a PhD graduate in British Columbia has developed a new method of creating microscopic, mushroom-like plastic structures in order to produce a dry adhesive that mimics the stickiness of gecko feet—and is prepping his glue-free innovation for outer space. A research group at his university, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, is engineering a spider-like, sticky-footed climbing robot destined to explore Mars, and it is also developing reusable attaching systems for astronauts to use where magnetic and suction systems generally fail. In the future, he says, single-use versions could be used in any number of medical applications as well as for replacements for everyday sticky needs, such as Post-It notes and Scotch tape."

Re:Not the first effort (4, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408368)

The TFA doesn't

You are hereby banned from using acronyms until further notice.

An interesting anecdote (5, Interesting)

Rexdude (747457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407544)

The Indian monitor lizard [wikimedia.org] is also known for wedging itself tightly into crevices and holding onto rocks. It was famously used by the Marathas to scale the walls of a fortress during the battle of Sinhagad [wikimedia.org] by tying a rope to its tail and releasing it to climb the wall.

Gecko (1)

mahoney.d.82 (1884354) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407634)

Does this mean blazing foxes can now climb glass surfaces?

Re:Gecko (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407676)

Does this mean blazing foxes can now climb glass surfaces?

I saw "gecko", and this being Slashdot I immediately thought of the Firefox rendering engine. I'm a bit surprised it took this long before someone else apparently did the same...

Ahh... So the similarity to RiSE is no accident (1)

beej69 (12003) | more than 4 years ago | (#33407786)

From TFA: "Cutkosky has collaborated with scientists from [...] a robot-building company called Boston Dynamics."

http://www.bostondynamics.com/robot_rise.html [bostondynamics.com]

Love the little guys (1)

geomark (932537) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408738)

I'm surrounded by the little fellas (geckos). Ubiquitous in the tropics. Long wanted to be able to climb like them. Thinking this won't be my chance.

Designs (2, Insightful)

MikeDataLink (536925) | more than 4 years ago | (#33410190)

"feet modeled on the intricate design of gecko toes"

Interesting. I thought they evolved. ;-)

Honestly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33410358)

Sounds cool, but I'll hold out for the Webkit Inspired Robot

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