Youtube: Scientists reach the heights with gecko-inspired robot
Faculty of Applied Sciences
Alumni profile: Jeff Krahn, Engineering
Jeff Krahn completed his MASc in engineering at SFU this year, and now he's making headlines around the world with his robotic gecko.
The research, published in the IOP Publishing journal Smart Materials and Structures, provides an alternative to using magnets, suction cups or claws which typically fail at climbing smooth surfaces like glass or plastic. It also paves the way for a range of applications, from inspecting pipes, buildings, airplanes and even nuclear power plants to employment in search and rescue operations.
Known as the Tailless Timing Belt Climbing Platform (TBCP-11), the robot can transfer from a flat surface to a wall over both inside and outside corners at speeds of up to 3.4 cm per second. It is fitted with sensors that allow it to detect its surroundings and change direction.
Researchers mimicked the “dry, sticky toe pads” of the gecko by creating an adhesive using a material called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), manufactured as tiny mushroom cap-like shapes that are 17 micrometres wide by 10 micrometres high.
Lead author Jeff Krahn’s work on getting the robot to climb formed the bulk of his master’s thesis. The research was carried out together with engineering science assistant professor Carlo Menon in the MENRVA Research Group.
- SFU press release: "Researchers create gecko-like climbing robot"
- IOPScience journal: "A tailless timing belt climbing platform utilizing dry adhesives with mushroom caps"
- Jeff Krahn's MASc thesis: "A climbing robot that utilizes fibrillar biomimetic dry adhesives with mushroom caps" (publication postponed until August 2012)
- Jeff Krahn on LinkedIn
- MENRVA Research Group, School of Engineering Science, SFU
- His supervisor Dr. Carlo Menon is accepting applications for new graduate students. (Research area: Fabrication of dry adhesives. Requirements: extensive cleanroom experience.)
Some of the 100+ stories that have appeared so far:
- Vancouver Sun: "SFU creates robotic gecko that climbs walls"
- Daily Mail: "Gecko-like robot that can climb up walls without adhesive developed by scientists"
- PhysOrg.com: "Scientists reach the heights with gecko-inspired tank robot"
- ChannelNewsAsia.com: "This robot can climb walls"
- Nature.com: "‘Gecko robot’ walks up walls"
- International Business Times: http://at.sfu.ca/MnTafx
- Gizmag.com: http://at.sfu.ca/sLXnzn
- TheRegister.co.uk: Behold: The Gecko-robot wall-climbing tank!
- The Guardian (UK): “Scientists reach new heights with gecko-inspired robot”
- The Times of India: “Robots scale walls, sans hands”
- Popular Mechanics: “This Gecko-Inspired Robot Tank Climbs Walls”
- National Post: “Robot uses the power of a gecko to climb walls without suction cups or glue”
- Device Magazine (Romania): “Gecko robot tank climbs walls and goes around ledges”
- The China Post (Taiwan): “Scientists look to geckos for wall-walking robots”
- South China Morning Post: “Robot mimics gecko's gravity-defying feats”
- The Australian: “Robot 'gecko' climbs walls”
- Discovery.com: “Gecko-Inspired Robot Rolls Up Walls”
- MSNBC.com: “Gecko-inspired robot climbs walls”
- 24Hours (Vancouver) and Toronto Sun newspapers chain: “Researchers create gecko-like climbing robot”
- ComputerWorld.com.au: “Robot uses gecko power to climb walls”
- CBC News: "Wall-scaling tank-bot inspired by geckos"
- Geek.com: "Robot climbs walls by mimicking gecko toe pads"
- engadget: "TBCP-II tank robot climbs walls with gecko-inspired feet"
- R&D: "Tank robot drives itself up the wall"
- io9: "This wall-climbing robot is half tank, half gecko"
- The Hindu: "Robot with gecko power climbs walls"
- News1130: "SFU researchers create robot based on a gecko"