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Gecko inspired micro-fibrillar adhesives for wall climbing robots on micro/nanoscale rough surfaces

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3 Author(s)
Burak Aksak ; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA ; Michael P. Murphy ; Metin Sitti

This paper presents the fabrication, characterization and testing of bio-inspired synthetic dry adhesive fiber arrays. Fibers were fabricated via micromolding followed by spatula tip formation via dipping. Arrays of fibers with diameters between 28 mum and 57 mum and a height of 114 mum were fabricated with high uniformity on 6.25 cm2 areas with up to 95% yield. Adaptation to uneven surfaces was observed with fiber elongations over 6 times the original height of the fiber. The unstructured sample exhibited 1.6 times as much adhesion as the fiber array sample for the flat punch indenter. However, fibrillar samples demonstrated up to 5.3 times as much adhesion as the unstructured sample for the hemispherical indenter. The fibrillar adhesive sample was implemented on a wall climbing robot which was able to carry itself and climb a distance on a painted wall and wood door.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2008. ICRA 2008. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

19-23 May 2008