If you’ve always wanted to do whatever a spider can, we’re a step closer.
A biologist as the University of Massachusetts along with a team of polymer scientists, have been studying how the sticky-toed lizards are able to grip and release surfaces without the benefit of a radioactive spider bite—and they believe they’ve finally figured it out.
The team has developed a device they call Geckskin, and the results are pretty impressive. The reusable prototype can hold a 42-inch television to a wall for an indefinite amount of time, then release with a gentle tug. No residue, no muss, and no fuss.
“Our Geckskin device is about 16 inches square, about the size of an index card, and can hold a maximum force of about 700 pounds while adhering to a smooth surface such as glass,” researcher Alfred Crosby told ZeeNews.
The team created an adhesive with a soft pad woven into a stiff fabric to work from. The unique design allows the pad to “drape” over a surface to maximize contact. Mimicking the lizard foot even further, the weave includes a synthetic “tendon” that allows flexibility but keeps the grip tight.
“It’s a concept that has not been considered in other design strategies and one that may open up new research avenues in gecko-like adhesion in the future,” Crosby said.