A robot with square wheels walks on the ceiling

    Lizards of the Gecko family have nano-sized suction cups on their feet, which allows them to move along vertical and upper horizontal surfaces. Scientists used this property to create an adhesive tape and equipped it with square-wheel robots: an autonomous miniature device capable of moving around walls and ceilings.

    Long before human development of the first robots, nature came up with various nanotechnologies and brought them in the process of evolution to simultaneous extreme complexity and simplicity. The lizard of the Gecko family inhabits the earth for more than fifty million years, it surprised our ancestors with the ability to quickly move along the vertical and upper horizontal planes using the legs of a unique nanostructure.

    High-resolution microscopy at the beginning of the 21st century proved that the geanderous fingers are based on the van der Waals forces of intercolecular interaction. On the fingertips of these lizards are bristles, each of which has hundreds of flexible hairs with a diameter of about one hundred nanometers. The tops of the hairs have triangular scapula-suckers that adjust to the surface.

    The structure of the legs of the gecko. A - foot, B - bristles, C - one bristle, D - forest of bristles, D - bristles with spatulas at the end. Source of illustration.

    This technology has potential in robotics. Specialists from Case Western Reserve 's private research university in Cleveland have developed a robot that can move along walls and ceilings. They usedmicrostructured adhesive tape for movement, and the body was printed on a 3D printer. The robot uses flexible foot-tapes mounted on square wheels. Twenty ten thousand microscopic mushroom-shaped hooks fit on a square centimeter of a polyvinylsiloxane tape.

    In the future, this technology can be used to test robotic legs for other devices.

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