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Dry Adhesive Helps Drones Land on Walls, Ceilings

When I’ve covered biomimicry in robotics in the past, it’s usually been in the context of how the drone or robot flies or walks. In a slightly different spin on technology modeled on nature, researchers at Stanford and the University of Maryland have come up with a small flying drone (the AVL Microquad) that can cling to walls and ceilings using a dry adhesive.

The quadrotor (which uses the same adhesive as the Stanford Stickybot III) is part of a joint research project between the Stanford Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Lab and UM’s Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory. The adhesive can detach instantly, and will allow the drones to land and take off from a wider variety of surfaces. That means they could easily be deployed in areas where there aren’t a lot of flat places to land, or they could operate more discretely by landing in places people might not necessarily be looking.

We wrote about the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s gecko-inspired dry adhesive in 2012. That product (Geckskin) could hold up to 700 pounds on a smooth wall.

You can see a video of the quadrotor below:

Source: Popular Science

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Brian Albright's avatar
Brian Albright

Brian Albright is the editorial director of Digital Engineering. Contact him at [email protected].

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