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Scientists Developing Commercially Viable Synthetic Gecko

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the better-than-synthetic-llama dept.

Science 122

Gordon from Seattle writes to mention a CNN article about a new way to hang out. A British aerospace team is working on a super-sticky substance they're calling "Synthetic Gecko". It mimics the hairs on a gecko's foot, and may eventually be developed as a reusable adhesive. From the article: "Each of the microscopic setae on a gecko's foot has a mushroom shaped cap on the end, less than one-thousandth of a millimeter across. This ensures that the gecko's foot is in very close contact with the surface beneath. The cumulative attractive force, called van der Waals force, of these setae allows the lizard to scurry up walls and ceilings, and even hang from polished glass surfaces. In 2003 scientists at the University of Manchester produced a one centimeter patch of 'gecko tape,' but neither the University of Manchester nor University of California teams managed to produce the material in a greater quantity, unlike Haq and Sargent, who have already tested areas larger than 10 centimeters-squared."

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SpiderMan (3, Funny)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190540)

I can hardly wait! When this is out I can /really/ play Spiderman!!

Re:SpiderMan (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191076)

Gotta use a green costume :)

Re:SpiderMan (2, Funny)

Null Perception (914562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191098)

Gecko-man, Gecko-man. Friendly neighbourhood Gecko-man.

Re:SpiderMan (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17191416)

friendly neighbourhood geek stuck to the bottom of the wall

Re:SpiderMan (1)

Conanymous Award (597667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17192942)

He's called Geeko-Man. Oh, is SuSE/Novell gonna sue me now?

Re:SpiderMan (1)

nxtr (813179) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191396)

Yes, what was that popular catchphrase he used to say that is often referred to in popular culture? Up and at them?

The popular catchphrase (1)

21st Century Peon (812997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17192092)

"Criminals are a gravity-fearing and downward-looking lot. I must become a creature of the ceiling. I shall become a gecko."

Re:SpiderMan (1)

gritak (952400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17192632)

Over here in Malaysia, the cinemas are showing Cicak Man (www.cicakman.com). Cicak is the local name for gecko.

Re:SpiderMan (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17193826)

I bet he gets in many a sticky situation!

Ho ho! See what I did there?

Re:SpiderMan - heck, how 'bout SpiderCar? (1)

mnemotronic (586021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17193498)

Since the stuff can support the weight of a small family car, how about a set of tires with Synth-o-setae (tm) on the treads? Traffic across the bay too much for ya? Drive across the underside of a bridge. Lot full? Park on the side of that building. And someone finally gets to prove that their Hummer really can "climb a tree".

Sure it wasn't a misunderstanding? (0, Offtopic)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190552)

I get the feeling the scientists said they're switching to Geico as their insurer, and the reporter got it all mixed up.

I mean, one can legitimately mistake "gecko" and "Geico".

Little Richard (1)

roesti (531884) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191326)

"Microscopic setae and Van der Waals' force! WOOOOOOOOOO!"

Ah yes, Velcro Animal research of 40 years ago. (5, Funny)

tulsaoc3guy (755854) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190564)

This story is reminiscent of the intrepid discoverers of the elusive Velcro animal of 40 years ago.

Re:Ah yes, Velcro Animal research of 40 years ago. (4, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190612)

We're lucky they found it before it was hunted to extinction by the naugabeast.

Naugas (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191230)

That's a sad tale; the noble Connecticut Nauga, hunted to near-extinction purely for its hyde...

Don't believe me? Just read the official Naugahyde History [naugahyde.com] page. (Those people have too much free time on their hands.)

Re:Naugas (3, Funny)

Perseid (660451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191262)

And let's not forget the mass-extinction event of the Polyestrian era in the late 20th century.

Re:Naugas (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191644)

Amazing! I didn't realise there was a miniature variant, or perhaps it's the result of too much inbreeding since the Vicious Nauga became an endangered species. The specimens I recall were often large enough for a single hide to cover a full-sized couch.

You're an idiot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17190624)

I hope that you're modded down very shortly for the lack of humor.

Re:Ah yes, Velcro Animal research of 40 years ago. (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191140)

Palaeontologists suspect that, unlike the gecko's feet, the long-extinct Velcrociraptor's were self-dirtying.

I mean, try to get anything in velcro without little bits of lint and string getting stuck in there. It's impossible!

- RG>

Re:Ah yes, Velcro Animal research of 40 years ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17191600)

Technically, Velcro is a plant [wikipedia.org]

I'm Fine WIth This... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190584)

...as long as the synthetic geckos aren't made into shill whores for low rent insurance companies.

Re:I'm Fine WIth This... (0, Offtopic)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190602)

Beat you to it [slashdot.org] , commie.

And anyone who can give a 24-year old male comprehensive insurance for $400 per six months, does not deserve your insults.

Re:I'm Fine WIth This... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190768)

Call me old fashioned. I'll stick with State Farm. Thanks for playing. Try again later.

Re:I'm Fine WIth This... (0, Flamebait)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190824)

A state farm? Yeah, I'm not suprised a commie is enamored by it.

Re:I'm Fine WIth This... (1)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191156)

as opposed to the Government Employees Insurance Company?

Looks like somebody .... (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17193696)

... woke up on the wrong side of the rock!

Surface Dust (5, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190596)

Every surface outside of a clean room is coated with dust. Unless there is some cleaning mechanism, this will clog with dust and become non-sticky. Geckos probably lick their feet clean every once in a while, or have some other bio-mechanism to decontaminate their feet. How will this syntha-gecko sticky pad keep clean?

Re:Surface Dust (5, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190736)

Geckos probably lick their feet clean every once in a while, or have some other bio-mechanism to decontaminate their feet.

According to this science news article, [sciencenews.org] gecko feet are self cleaning. It's one of the properties that makes synthetic gecko adhesive so attractive.

Re:Surface Dust (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17190738)

dust, sand, small sticks, etc. don't have enough surface area to generate enough Van der Waals force to effectively stick to the tape. this is why gecko's don't need to "lick there feet" to keep them from getting clogged with dust

Re:Surface Dust (2, Funny)

quantaman (517394) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191308)

Geckos probably lick their feet clean every once in a while
Yeah, I know the adhesive bond is fairly easy to break when you peel at an angle.

But even so when I read your post I got a sudden mental image of a gecko hopping around with its tounge stuck to its foot :)

Re:Surface Dust (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191330)

As I understand, insects/flies use (controllably) sticky adhesive, while lizzards use "velcro". One needs regular cleaning (that's what the flies do) while the other does not.

Re:Surface Dust (1)

Jello B. (950817) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191566)

lizzards

Whoa, that sounds like an awesome band name.

Re:Surface Dust (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17193686)

lizzards Whoa, that sounds like an awesome band name.
Already been done:
"Band Members Kenny Wilson. Also plays with rock band The Lizzards and 60s themed duo White Rabbit (play psychedelic classics). Helen Butterfield plays violin and sings on the tracks on this site."
from http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=us er.viewprofile&friendid=76075567 [myspace.com] (yuck, myspace)

too sticky? (0)

Elminst (53259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190614)

Wasn't one of the problems with the "gecko tape" that it was "too" sticky?
That is; _everything_ sticks to it, thus all the dust/dirt/hair/etc. would make the tape unusable in a short time.

Obviously, real geckos don't have this problem. You don't see them walking around with sticks, dirt and sand stuck to their feet, so how do they solve that?

Geckoes are always growing. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17190684)

Geckoes continually "shed" the hair on their feet, and regrow new hairs. So any hairs that do happen to get extremely dirty are naturally discarded after some time, and replaced with newly-grown clean hairs.

Re:too sticky? (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190894)

See this post [slashdot.org] , which answered another post asking nearly the exact same question as you.

Re:too sticky? (1)

Elminst (53259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191446)

His post wasn't there when I started typing mine.
Good info.
(though i don't think I needed to be down-modded.)

all true (4, Funny)

deevnil (966765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190618)

I've seen a lizard leap onto a pane of glass and scurry up - almost gave up the hunt but I didn't want it freaking me out in the middle of the night. They're as sticky as that protective film that people never remove from the plastic faceplates on radios /and/ they change colors, formidable pests. If only we could crack the secrets of lizard technology.. Cars that run on flies with tires that could adhere to any surface...

Re:all true (2, Funny)

freewaybear (906222) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190826)

Cars that run on flies with tires that could adhere to any surface...

Do the cars have tires that adhere to any surface, or is it the flies that have the tires?
(Couldn't help it) :)

Re:all true (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191820)

Pests?!

They eat cockroaches. Treat them like the Egyptians treated the cats around their granaries.

Re:all true (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17193382)

Anything that crawls across my face in the middle of the night and scares the living crap out of me is a pest. Be that lizards, spiders, daddy-long-legs, cockroaches, cats or alien face huggers.

Re:all true (1)

salec (791463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17192602)

...tires that could adhere to any surface
Now, that IS a good idea! Tires are good if they adhere well.

Re:all true (1)

Vreejack (68778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17192966)

I doubt it would work any better on ice. The surface of ice (unless it is extremely cold) is always a thin layer of liquid water due to surface tension properties of the unattached hydrogen bonds. But since this is an exercise in surface characteristics it would be an interesting experiment to try. What if gecko feet reduce the monolayer of liquid?

Having good adherence to sand is also not very useful since you just cover the tire with loose sand. But perhaps good adherence to a clean road might help, though it might reduce your efficiency.

Tires tend to improve their traction by penetrating the soft outer layer of the surface they are on or by grabbing as much bulk material as they can. Ice is an exception to that.

Re:all true (1)

salec (791463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17193306)

Gecko feet would probably capillary "drink of" and absorb at least some part of that thin layer of water, like a brush or a mop does. Anyway, although at present certainly much more expensive, even if it wouldn't be much better, I am sure it wouldn't be any worse either, compared to common tire rubber.

I can already see the lawsuits... (1)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190630)

"Although the defendant manufactures and sells these 'GeckoBoots' to the public, the public is not warned that the average kitchen ceiling is painted and thus not an appropriate surface for the GeckoBoots, nor is the public warned against attempting to use GeckoBoots near a dishdrainer filled with glasses and knives...."

Re:I can already see the lawsuits... (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191802)

Yeah, but will they stick to the ceiling in the womens locker room ?

Cleaning Mechanism (1)

KClaisse (1038258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190660)

Pretty sure that some geckos are amphibious. So in effect, their environment would clean their feet.

Re:Cleaning Mechanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17190928)

Pretty sure that some geckos are amphibious. So in effect, their environment would clean their feet.

No geckos are amphibians, so in effect you're wrong.

Re:Cleaning Mechanism (1)

KClaisse (1038258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191664)

I was thinking of a salamander. My mistake.

Geko Hunt (3, Funny)

dark grep (766587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190662)

That will come as a great relief to the gecko population around my neighbourhood - which I hunt and tie to my hands and feet to I can hang out on the ceiling.

Rock climbing (2, Funny)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190670)

Can you imagine the rock climbing possibilities!

As a rock climber, this is too cool.

Trad, Sport and Gecko? That would be something.

Re:Rock climbing (1)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191044)

I think this guy [google.com] already has it.

Re:Rock climbing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17191172)

Gecko stickum is AID!

Obligatory (3, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190672)

{insert Mozilla joke here}

interested in Gecko feet? /. is here to help (1)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190676)

Here are some more slashdot stories concerning Gecko feet.

Gecko's Feet Power New RAM Chips [slashdot.org]

Gecko Feet and Antigravity [slashdot.org]

Gecko Feet Inspire Sticky Tape [slashdot.org]

Re:interested in Gecko feet? /. is here to help (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191106)

At least their user friendly

Re:interested in Gecko feet? /. is here to help (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17192538)

At least their user friendly what do what?

But (1)

zptao (979069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190686)

Can we hang out with our WANGUES out?

New Synthetic Gecko (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17190752)

Tastes just like real gecko!

Does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17190798)

We'll be seing the Gieco Geko in real life

Synthetic Gecko? (0, Redundant)

talkingc (963431) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190832)

You mean the one that lets me save 15% on my car insurance?

One Simple call (3, Funny)

RMB2 (936187) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190838)

One square meter of the stuff on a small family sized car could save you up to 15%

3M has similar... Greptile (4, Interesting)

Tmack (593755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190854)

As the subject states, Ive had some cycling gloves with matching bar tape for several years now with similar tech... 3M makes the stuff called Greptile, thats basically a material with a bunch of tiny hair like things on one side. When used with a similar material on whatever you want to grip, its almost like having velcro, but being able to let go with out having to pull it apart. It was designed along the same lines as well, hence the name:

Greptile [3m.com]

Worked pretty well, and even improved the grip between the gloves and stuff that didn't have the material on it. Only problem was the haird tend to wear out/fall off over time, so now those gloves have a few bald spots where the rubberish material has worn through and they aren't nearly as grippy

Tm

Re:3M has similar... Greptile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17193324)

Greptile? I thought that was a method of searching for patterns on floor coverings...

DONT DO IT! (5, Funny)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190880)

Before you even try...Do NOT use this to masturbate!!! Seriously, you WILL regret it.

Animal Cruelty (0, Flamebait)

Null Perception (914562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190886)

Don't you find it cruel that they are killing poor geckos just so we can use their feet? I do.

Slashdot No Understand Writing (1)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190918)

A synthetic gecko, or synthetic gecko-derived adhesives?

Re:Slashdot No Understand Writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17192674)

Synthetic gecko-derived adhesives, or gecko-derived synthetic adhesives?

We don't need designer pet... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190984)

Why would I want a synthetic lizard when I can buy a real lizard at the pet store? The last thing I need is a glow-in-the-dark lizard blending in with the blue lights on my computer at night.

Gecko Gloves (2, Interesting)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17190996)

I keep waiting for someone to make these into Spidey gloves... would be pretty cool at first, til everyone realizes they don't lock their attic windows. Companies wondering how someone got inside when everything was locked, etc... it would completely change security practices. Pretty neat though when they figure out someone crawled in a skylight, across the ceiling and down the wall behind the cameras.

Still I hope someone makes these, it'll start some new extreme sport craze... wall-ball or something. Whee!

Don't worry... (1)

Myria (562655) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191298)

...It doesn't scale linearly. You would need a heck of a lot to stick a human to a wall.

Melissa

Re:Don't worry... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191376)

It doesn't scale? I've pulled geckos off walls and stuff (even when they die of old age/etc they still stay stuck), and they sure stick pretty well, so given the surface area of a fair number of gecko feet, I'm not sure why that wouldn't hold up a human - at least a not too obese one (an obese tummy might get in the way of wall crawling too ;) ).

Really, it doesn't scale (2, Informative)

arete (170676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191422)

It might not scale for other reasons, but it DEFINITELY doesn't scale for the same reason any surface effect doesn't scale.

We're going to make something 10x as long (which assumes a ~20 cm Gecko to get to man-sized, which I think is generous.)

So the surface area of the giant-gecko feet are 100x bigger. (10^2 - because you have length and width) But the Gecko ways 1000x as much (lenght, width, depth) So for a 10x scaling factor in length, you have 10x more mass PER surface area - in other words you stick 10x LESS well if you make a giant Gecko. Real Geckos have pretty big feet, too - and a cousin-post listed all sorts of reasons why humans aren't evolved to be surface-climbers.

But the other BIG thing to remember is that most surfaces are simply not made to have a hundred-fifty lbs STUCK to them. Have you ever tried to glue anything heavy to a painted wall? If you're lucky the glue fails and the thing falls. If you're unlucky the wall surface (paint) fails and a big piece rips off. If you're MORE unlucky the WALL fails - you do know that interior walls are NOT structural - they're just fireproofing. Only the studs are EVER structural. Drywall can't hold 20lbs sideways and never 150 lbs straight down. Most ceilings are actually worse for this...

And if you're falling because this happened, the chunk will be stuck to you, stopping you from catching yourself on anything else.

So in effect your spidey suit can only work where you have certain kinds of exposed structural materials, and even then a fair bit of luck and care.

Re:Really, it doesn't scale (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17192068)

"Irschick et al. (1996) showed that two front feet of a tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) produced 20.1 N of force parallel to the surface with 227 mm2 of pad area".

So a pad area of 15mm x 15mm can hold about 2kg. So a pad area of 10cm x 10cm ( 4" x 4") should be able to hold about 90 to 100kg (200-220 pounds). Attaching four pads each of that area to a human doesn't seem like a big problem, and should provide a fair safety margin.

That's of course assuming the synthetic gecko pad performs as well as the tokay's.

As for surfaces not being able to hold your weight, that's what the brain is for ;).

Note: Geckos have much better terminal velocity to "splat" velocity ratios than humans. That part of the scaling is more of a concern :p.

Re:Don't worry... (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191848)

This much ? [octanecreative.com]

Re:Gecko Gloves (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191302)

Every tried hanging upside down AND crawling? You need Gecko knee pads, not Gecko shoes. Our muscle mass is designed to hold us upright, not, upside down.

Re:Gecko Gloves (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17193006)

Every tried hanging upside down AND crawling?
Sorry, it's been a while since my last crack delusion. Though I saw it in Trainspotting recently.

Re:Gecko Gloves (1)

ag0ny (59629) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191414)

That might not be so far off. A friend of mine has been working on something like that implemented with magnets, also based on the gecko's feet.

There's a video showing the system here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rG8j1nFSss [youtube.com]

Gecko? (0, Redundant)

ndogg (158021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191006)

Will this synthetic gecko bug me about my auto-insurance company?

meh (1)

1ntegral (792901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191018)

I have no doubt that The Military has possessed this technology since, at the very latest, 1952.

GEICO Trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17191024)

Won't the scientists be infringing on GEICO's trademark? Will the synthetic geckos also help people save money on car insurance???

Did anyone else notice the submitters name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17191110)

Gordon.

Re:Did anyone else notice the submitters name (1)

Sensae (961755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191238)

Gordon Indeed.

Suck my huge (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17191142)

black cock

Ok, all the Spiderman Wanna-be's read this first! (2, Insightful)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191246)

1st of all this is not going to work for your average adult human.

Why you might ask? Well I knew you would, well at least in your head.

Besides sticking to things, you have to take into consideration basic human body mechanics. Yeah I know, reality is so pesky! Consider things that climb, and climb well. Lizards, Monkeys, insects, all the fauna in natures lovely wild kingdom. What do they all in common? Well, since you asked, and I knew you would, even if it was in your own head. Here is your answer:

ALL of these creatures have equal length limbs!

Yes even or favorite relative, the chimpanzee. Also, in proportion to their size, they are all also endowed with vastly more muscle strength then humans. Ever seen your favorite monkey / gorilla play with a steel belted radial? They fling the thing around like we would a hula-hoop!

No not wanting to be a TOTAL kill-joy, I can see where humans could have lots of fun with this, but don't expect to see your average nerd/geek scaling a glass tower anytime soon. Our legs are way to long. Our arms are way to short and week in comparison to our legs and or climbing posture would be all wrong, with our asses hanging out into the breeze.

Being a pretty damn good rock climber myself, I can see some wonderful advantages I could have, but its not as great as everyone things its going to be. Gloves and shoes? Well that great and all, but you have to consider what is taking our full body weight. Good climbers, and I know some really good ones, can do one finger pull-ups, they are that strong, but a glove is going to exert the wrong kind of pressure/grip. Perhaps you might not slip, but you will have to keep your fingers curled over whatever you are using for a hand hold, and that still will lead to finger / hand fatigue that every climber experiences.

Perhaps a glove and shoe will be engineered that will evenly distribute the strain along the length of the forearm and the length and contours of the ankle and calf, but until then its going to still be a clumsy system that will put even more strain on our joints and limbs that already badly designed for climbing vertical surfaces.

Re:Ok, all the Spiderman Wanna-be's read this firs (1)

carterhawk001 (681941) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191400)

Two words

Knee
Pads

Our legs might be way longer than our arms, but from the butt to the knee is just the right length for some serious wall crawling. With an entire body suit of the stuff you could for example use an entire arm to hang climb up instead of just your hands and feet.

Re:Ok, all the Spiderman Wanna-be's read this firs (1)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191708)

Two words

Knee
Pads

Brilliance like that is why we're still beating those superstrong gorillas. :)

Re:Ok, all the Spiderman Wanna-be's read this firs (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191492)

1) I'm sure humans are adaptable and can figure things out- you don't have to fasten the sticky bits to the feet and hands y'know. Especially when humans are likely to want to have their hands and fingers free to manipulate stuff - opening/fixing stuff or answering the phone and checking email 100 metres up in the air ;).

Also if the sticky bits are at the knee/shins and not the feet, you could hang by the forearm pads and then peel off+use the feet to jump at the same time. Harder to do that if the sticky bits were at the feet (you could have sticky bits at the feet just not as sticky).

2) There are quite a number of people with accidentally shortened legs, might be good fun for them :).

Re:Ok, all the Spiderman Wanna-be's read this firs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17192986)

So you're saying what Climbers do for fun is impossible now? This would make tetherless climbing 10 times safer.

Obligatory Simpsons (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191324)

Hello, Human Fly here! Come on, I spent all night dying my underwear.

Victoria's Secret (1)

swell (195815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191698)

Support garments are the obvious future for this product. No more straps, clamps, harness... Body parts will look more natural, move more gracefully, conform better, and beachwear will be truly stunning!

This will change important parts of our lives more than any recent technology development.

Re:Victoria's Secret (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17191750)

LOL, you're joking right? Teh intarweb brought us porn, man. ALL THE NEKKID CHICKS URE HART DEZIRES.

Re:Victoria's Secret (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17191866)

I was watching Futurama the other day, and Amy had on her Turquoise Reveal-O-Dress [geocities.com] I began to wonder how to put together a dress like this in this century. I was thinking of a fine mesh for the revealed parts, but if Geck-o-Tape becomes a reality, woohoo!, the fashion world will definitely change.

Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17191838)

I'm not impressed. Seems so easy, a cave man could have come up with it...

They had big problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17192100)

In 2003 scientists at the University of Manchester produced a one centimeter patch of 'gecko tape,' but neither the University of Manchester nor University of California teams managed to produce the material in a greater quantity
Because they couldn't detach the damn thing from a window's lab they tested it on.

More insight into this research at... (1)

richy k (774528) | more than 7 years ago | (#17192146)

This special kind of biomimetics [wikipedia.org] is also being researched elsewhere, for example at the Max-Planck-Institute in Stuttgart, Germany. An insightful article can be downloaded from here [royalsoc.ac.uk] .

Just imagine a condom made out of this material... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17192718)

You could get in, but you couldn't get out... very easily!

Weeeee......

Old hat (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17193746)

I see a "commercially viable synthetic gecko" on TV all the time. It tries to sell me car insurance.

Oops (1)

OfficialReverendStev (988479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194594)

Sorry, wrong article. I wanted Geico, not Gekko.
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