(568a) Developing a Bio Inspired Gecko Adhesive System

Yu, J., University of California, Santa Barbara
Das, S., University of California, Santa Barbara

The gecko can rapidly attach and detach from almost any kind of surface. This ability is attributed to the hierarchical structures of their toe pads, which generate both strong adhesion and friction forces. In this study, large arrays of micron-scale rectangular flaps composed of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) have been fabricated using massively parallel microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication techniques with the intention of creating a responsive, high friction, high adhesion, anisotropic material similar to that found in geckos. Friction and adhesion tests demonstrate that the tilted angle and specialized structure allow us to optimize both friction and adhesion forces along different directions during movement. These properties, when coupled with suitable articulation mechanisms, can have important implications for designing reversible adhesion systems for climbing robotic applications.