NASA researchers mimic the gecko to create a space maintenance robot

Robot-GeckoFor many years researchers of the famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA are studying the Gecko. This friendly lizard has the amazing feature can climb the smoothest surface. The adhesive strips available to it on its feet make it the world champion in the discipline. A feature of interest at the highest point NASA: it will allow robots to move just about solar panels or the outer shell of a satellite or marring on the international station.

An artificial gecko skin was tested with success in microgravity

The leg of the gecko, the model of NASA researchers (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The leg of the gecko, the model of NASA researchers (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Under the Flight Research Opportunities Program, NASA researchers are studying for several years the adhesive strips of Gecko system. The Pasadena team expects to take this principle to catch space debris or move on a satellite without any additional device. The researchers created a synthetic surface made of slats in any comparable point for our gecko strips. According to researchers, this surface is capable of adhering to a surface and to break free of control to a drilling of 150 Newtons. Several models have been created to raise 10 Kg and 100 Kg. This artificial gecko skin remains functional beyond 30,000 cycles. In particular, it was tested in 2014 in microgravity during parabolic soil with the Boeing C-9B of NASA. Finally, it has been mounted on the legs of the robot LEMUR 3 NASA climber robot that could move on satellite models and their solar panels, thus validating the concept. Maybe one day we’ll see these robots LEMUR crawling on the surface of the ISS, perhaps-will we see this device in our daily lives. Just as George de Mestral invented Velcro balls observing the burdock which were fixed to the fur of his hunting dog, researchers from NASA invented Velcro electronic observing this in turn nature.

Source : “Gecko Grippers Moving On Up”, Nasa, August 12, 2015

Artist's impression of a robot LEMUR 3 moving on the International Space Station (Photo: NASA)

Artist’s impression of a robot LEMUR 3 moving on the International Space Station (Photo: NASA)

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