Wall-Climbing Robots Use Compliant Electroadhesion

Wall-climbing robots using compliant electroadhesion are under development for use in surveillance in war zones.


(Wall-climbing robot)

Compliant electroadhesion provides a uniquely controllable way for machines to stick to a wall. The technique induces a negative charge in the wall being climbed, while imposing a positive charge on the "feet" of the wall-climbing robot.

Vertical walls are no problem for these charged-footed bots; they can even climb walls in less than optimum condition, like dusty or debris-covered walls (like you might expect in an urban war zone).

"The government is interested in deploying robots that can climb walls and then create a wireless network or lay sensors to send information back," said von Guggenberg. "The challenge in those [front line] environments is to deploy things. If you're trying to deploy a wireless network, the range is greater if it's higher up. The alternative is to have a soldier go out and climb a wall to set something up."

Inevitably, sf fans will compare these clever wall-climbing robots with these sinister robots from the 1984 film Runaway, starring Tom Selleck and Gene Simmons. Michael Crichton wrote and directed this unjustly neglected movie.


(Killer-Spider-Robots attack Tom Selleck in Runaway)

Via Researchers develop wall-climbing robots; thanks to Winchell Chung for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/29/2008)

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