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Gecko-Like Drone Can Land On Walls And Ceilings

• Kelsey D. Atherton via

This drone could become the proverbial fly on the wall. Thanks to a joint research project between the University of Maryland's Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory and Stanford's Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Lab, there is now a quadrotor that can cling to walls and land on ceilings.

Making a drone that sticks to ceilings like a fly is an example of biomimicry, in which researchers try to imitate natural abilities in artificial machines. We've seen biomimicry in quadrotors before, when the University of Pennsylvania made an eagle-inspired claw for a drone. Standford's Biomimetics lab has already made a gecko-like robot that climbs glass surfaces, and this quadrotor borrows the same adhesive.

Andrew Kehlenbeck, a research assistant at the University of Maryland, says the gecko-inspired, dry adhesive "can detach instantly on-command and will eventually allow vehicles to perch and take-off at will on a wide variety of surfaces."

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