Bio-Inspired Controllable Adhesive
CALIFORNIA UNIV SANTA BARBARA DEPT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
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Geckos, as well as many species of insect, have evolved a robust reversible adhesion mechanism, enabling them to traverse rough, smooth, vertical or inverted surfaces. The extraordinary climbing ability of geckos has been attributed to the fine structure of their toe pads which contain arrays of thousands of micronsized setal stalks which are in turn terminated by millions of finger-like spatular pads having nano-scale dimensions. The hierarchical structure of the adhesive hairs provides several levels of compliance and enables them to come into close enough contact with rough surfaces to exploit the normally weak van der Waals force for strong adhesion. MEMS fabrication techniques are capable of producing micrometer and sub-micron features in a massively parallel fashion with a high degree of repeatability. This paper describes the use of such batch processing techniques to produce a synthetic reversible dry adhesive. A potential application for a controllable adhesive system capable of both strong attachment and rapid detachment clearly exists in the design of climbing robotic systems.
- Adhesives, Seals and Binders