Scientists have developed a soft, flexible robot that looks like a leech and can climb a wall.
Wall climbing robots have a wide range of possible applications, including building inspection and maintenance and search and rescue tasks at disaster sites.
The team at Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom have created LEeCH (Longitudinally Extensible Continuum Robot inspired by Hirudinea) with material used for shower hoses and two suction cups.
Climbing straight on vertical walls is fairly easy, but in reality the robot may need to navigate obstacles on the wall, such as steps and transition to walls with different directions, researchers said. However, the most difficult task is to reach the other side of the wall.
"I came up with the idea in the bathroom of my house.
The shower hose went wild as if it were alive when I accidentally turned on the tap, "says Ayato Kanada, lead author of the study published in the magazine Soft Robotics.
"Then an idea occurred to me that if I could manipulate a snake, I might be able to make a robot with a dynamic movement of living things," Kanada said. The team has developed a robot inspired by dredgers, excellent mountain climbers. in nature. Their bodies are so light and soft that they are not subject to major damage due to a fall from height.