Stanford designs space robot with gecko-like grippers
The special wedge-shaped grippers were created with space's atmosphere, and zero gravity, in mind.
Space robot Stanford researchers have designed a new substance that echoes the geckos: a gripping surface that mirrors the way geckos hold on to surfaces without falling. The device has worked, gripping objects that are from flat and straight to curved, using wedge-shaped grippers that stick, like a gecko's foot, to a surface when pulled.
Stanford's idea in designing the device was to come up with a way to pick out space debris—items floating around above the Earth such as part of satellites. Space has unique properties making traditional retrieval methods such as suction and even adhesive less effective. Stanford has tested the device at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and hope to get a prototype up to the International Space Station.
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