Robots Use Tricks From Nature to Climb Walls

The latest projects of Amir Shapiro, head of the robotics laboratory in the Department of Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheeba, Israel, are wall-climbers.  In keeping with an on-going theme of RobotNext, this article is about the robot/nature connection.  These robots are using techniques from nature to defy gravity.   One robot is based on the method that snails use in attaching to a vertical surface.  However, instead of mucus, the bots secrete a trail of glue to enable them to stick as they ascend the walls.  Another robot, this one inspired by cats and rodents, has four appendages with fishhook claws to assist  it’s climb up a rough surface.

A third robot uses a not-so-natural method of sticky tape on its wheels to climb vertical, smooth surfaces.  You can see this demonstrated in the video on the PhysOrg website.  The fourth is magnetic and can climb smooth metal surfaces such as a white board

Dr. Shapiro works in the area of research known as biomimetics, which involves using technology to mimic nature.  This field has produced many diverse types of robots such as climbing robots, grasshoppers, and snakes.  Check the links below to see the whole story on these climbing robots.

( — A robotics scientist from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheeba, Israel, has developed four different kinds of robots that climb
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Robots climb up the wall (w/ Video)
Tue, 19 Jan 2010 13:09:21 GMT