We could all be Spider-Man one day
Researchers have created an adhesive that can be attached to boots to allow humans to walk up walls, and it can be turned on and off using UV lights.
The German researchers created a gecko foot-inspired tape which goes on top of a light-sensitive film which consists of azobenzene – a molecule that contracts under UV light, ultimately stopping working.
The experts state that just a 20 centimetre square strip of the material, which they have catchily called bioinspired photocontrollable microstructured transport device (BIPMTD), can support the weight of an average man – although they are yet to test it with humans.
The surface of the material has mushroom-shaped molecules on it that stick with intensity to anything that comes into contact with.
Emre Kizilkan and Jan Strueben
The UV light makes the material contract and stop working
An abstract of the study published in the journal Science Robotics: “Geckos, which can walk upside down on vertical and underneath horizontal surfaces, owe this ability to the hierarchical structures under their toes.
“These structures are responsible for substantial adhesion and, at the same time, for quick detachment by mechanical stimulus through leg movements.
The material was inspired by geckos
“Inspired by such stimuli-responsive systems in nature, we developed an artificial, photocontrollable microstructured transport device.”
Emre Kizilkan, lead study author from the Zoological Institute at Kiel University in Germany told Gizmodo: “The global aim is to make an adhesive to climb surfaces for humans.
The best superheroes of all time
Wed, January 20, 2016
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As well as superhuman strength, agility, and endurance, Wonder Woman also possesses the Lasso of Truth, which forces anyone captured within it to obey her every command
“There are still a number of concerns with the durability of that material… over many cycles.
“And when they become dirty in some way, it can limit their utility.”