The six-legged, wall-climbing, gecko inspired robot designed for cleaning and maintenance on spacecraft that’s been designed by the ESA is hoping to one day make its way in to space.
The ESA (European Space Agency) are taking a differing approach to space robotics to NASA and the likes of their R2 humanoid robot, with a bio-inspired Gecko robot.
The robot, named Abigaille, is designed to scuttle around the outside of spacecraft, with the ability to clean and repair the crafts. While it’s capabilities are limited in comparison to the R2 NASA robot, Abigaille provides a cheaper and simpler alternative.
While the inspiration for the robot utilizes millions of ultrafine hairs called setae in order to attach itself to walls through a process known as the “Van Der Waals force”. The robot uses a “dry adhesive” developed by the ESA’s European Space and Technology Center in the Netherlands. The adhesive was tested by replicating the conditions of space, the vacuum and temperature of space but without the zero gravity, with positive results.
“A depth-sensing indentation instrument was used inside a vacuum chamber to precisely assess the dry adhesive’s sticking performance, experimental success means deployment in space might one day be possible.”
— Laurent Pambaguian, ESA specialist
Via: Japan Times