The playful animal served as inspiration for a new generation of stickers.

We've created a material that lets you climb walls Spider-Man style, and it's all thanks to these reptiles
Close-up of the base of a gecko’s leg, which served as inspiration for creating the curious sticker. Ars Technica

Imagine a world where we had the ability to replicate to the amazing animal skills more surprising, such as the bioluminescence of some fish or the flight of birds. Well, actually it’s something we’ve been doing for decades, both copying the animal world and the plant world, and that’s the basis for the advancement of science: the observation of the environment. In this case, thanks to work published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, we learned how the Synthetic skin of an adorable reptile.

Nature as a source of technological inspiration: an adhesive based on the skin of geckos

They are animals that sometimes remind us of their extinct relatives and that also have their place in mythology. Lizards, one of the animals prohibited as pets, are the basis of the experimentation that created a Synthetic skin with incredible properties. Professor Mark Cutkosky, member of the Stanford Universityis one of the champions of this new adhesive, which allows replicate the ability of geckos to adhere.

At the moment, as you can see in the video that we show you in these lines, the sticker has the curious ability to hold important weights if placed mouth down, but eliminates sticking when placed in reverse position. The team of researchers tested this adhesive for the creation of robots capable of pick up objects or even power drag large weights, as could be the case with a car. The funniest case? He can turn anyone into spider man.

A competition to make a robot climb a vertical wall without any kind of suction was the trigger for this wonderful discovery. They are gecko skin based stickers they are very private. Unlike a conventional sticker, these do not stick to a surface unless they can grab from its central part. And this is a fundamental point. To climb a wall, if the robot’s surface were sticky, the effort to walk the path would be enormous. However, the ability of this adhesive not to be sticky transform concept.

then copy the gecko skill, whose legs grip but do not stick, is the discovery that facilitated the creation of robots capable of climbing without the need to use suction elements. The explanation? It is not simple, but we could summarize that in the fingers lizard the so-called spatulas are hiddenObviously on a microscopic scale. Thanks to them the attraction between atoms on a surface and its legs is in a swung then light, which is able to hold the animal but let it move as it pleases. Once again, nature teaches us that not everything is made up.