New US technology offers humans 'spider abilities'

US researchers said they have created a technology that one day could allow humans to walk on walls –– without any radioactive spider bites.

New US technology offers humans 'spider abilities'


US researchers said they have created a technology that one day could allow humans to walk on walls –– without any radioactive spider bites.

The palm-sized device uses the combined surface tension of a series of minute water droplets to create a strong adhesive force.

The lead author behind the research, Paul Steen, of Cornell University in the United States, said the device could be used to make Spider-Man-style gloves or shoes.

A more practical application could be for super-sticky Post-it notes that could support considerable weight or be reused.

The key to the invention lies in the controllability of its rapid adhesion, which allows the device not only to stick to surfaces, but to unstick just as easily. Unlike previous attempts at gecko-like adhesion mechanisms, the device can cling to almost any surface, regardless of its coarseness.

“This is a little device that can grab and release walls and objects,” Prof. Paul Steen, chemical and biomolecular engineering, said.

Steen, who pioneered the project with his former post-doctorate student Michael Vogel, was inspired by the Florida leaf beetle’s ability to adhere to surfaces and withstand force up to 100 times its own weight.

The device was inspired by a beetle native to Florida that can stick to a leaf with a force 100 times its own weight, said Professor Steen, whose research has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The smaller and more numerous the holes in the surface layer, the stronger the adhesive force could be, the authors wrote.

They estimate the same device, with a million holes, could hold about seven kilograms - about the weight of a small ca


Agencies

Last Mod: 05 Şubat 2010, 16:33
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