Category Archives: Spider-man Stuff

New Gripper from the Geckos

The University of Pennsylvania is developing a new style of gripper. One based on that of creatures like the gecko. The gripper will be a “tunable adhesive” that will grip and release as well as vary its tensile strength. A two material structure that is easily mass produced. Researcher Kevin Turner said, “When it comes to tunable adhesion, everyone is familiar with the gecko, and everyone tries to copy it. The problem is that it’s really hard to manufacture complex structures as well as nature. We’ve come up with a strategy that can achieve similar adhesion behavior but is much easier to make.” Perfect for miniature manufacturing, such as computer and electronic chips, the adhesive could also be used in large scale projects. These structures are sticky due to Van der Waals adhesion. Van der Waals adhesion is present any time two object are close together says Brian Torchin on his Google+ page. The closer they are the stickier they become.