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Article contents

Microstructured Polymer Adhesive Feet for Climbing Robots

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011

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Abstract

Novel insect-foot–inspired materials may enable future robots to walk on surfaces regardless of the direction of gravity. Mini-Whegs™, a small robot that uses four wheel-legs for locomotion, was converted to a wall-walking robot with compliant, adhesive feet. First, the robot was tested with conventional adhesive feet. Then a new, reusable insect-inspired adhesive was tested on the robot. This structured polymer adhesive has less adhesive strength than conventional pressure-sensitive adhesives, but it has two important advantages: the foot material maintains its properties for more walking cycles before becoming contaminated, and the feet can then be washed and reused with similar results, which is not feasible with conventional adhesives. After the addition of a tail and widening the feet, the robot is capable of ascending vertical smooth glass surfaces using the structured polymer adhesive.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2007

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