Robot gecko could move on the walls and ceiling

April 29, 2009, 8:44 am

robot gecko could move on the walls and ceiling 
robot gecko could move on the walls and ceiling   The ability of robots to move on vertical walls and even the ceiling is extremely important to modern society - that such devices could perform a range of draft work, which is now borne by rights. This is not only banal cleaning walls, windows and other hard surfaces (however, this work is considered to be dangerous, and would do well to entrust her behalf robots), but also study the possibility of cracks in buildings and other construction defects.
reasonably respond that, to date, robotics engineers have created a similar apparatus, but they have significant shortcomings - for attaching the device to the wall or ceiling using special pumps that create a vacuum inside the suckers. Besides the construction of these robots is a multisection. In this together leads to high power consumption devices. And no need to use the cable for a supply of electricity that does not allow to speak about the full autonomy robot, or to accept the low time of autonomous operation.
However, the unit, devoid of these shortcomings, has been developed by researchers from the University of Carnegie-Melouna. The advantages of the device are:its extremely compact, the possibility of movement on the vertical and horizontal surfaces, the simple design. Like most developments in the field of robotics, researchers in this case drew inspiration from nature, and the sample was drawn to the ability of gecko is any movement on the surface. Studying the unique ability of an animal, scientists discovered that his holding tiny hairs on their paws - is a widely known phenomenon, as a force van der Waals. Although their value is extremely small, it has many times increased by the large number of hairs.
As we have noted, the robot was very compact - the size of a man`s palm, and weighs 60 grams. The developers gave him the name Tankbot, and that decision is not random, because it is equipped with a pair of tiny caterpillars. It is on them and are adhesive microobjects made from an elastomer material. Although the form of these elements is quite different from forms of hair that occurs in the case of gecko, the value of emerging forces of the van der Waals well allows the device to move on vertical surfaces, and even carry a small payload.
Unfortunately, this is not sufficient to ensure that the unit could move through a horizontal surface upside down. In this case the developers have prepared several modified design, which provides for the use of all of the sticky material. For the movement and attachment of the device with the four parallel bars, equipped with a few suckers. Past tests have shown that this modification allows the machine to move at a distance up to 30 meters.
However, the development there are drawbacks. Chief among them is the pollution of elastomer, resulting in the robot drops the clutch with the surface. It is on this issue developers concentrate their efforts in the further modernization of the unit.


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