Welcome!

News Feed Item

Carnegie Mellon's Metin Sitti Develops System for Replicating How Geckos Keep Webbed Feet Sticky and Clean

CMU Researchers Say Synthetic Gecko-Adhesive Has Implications in Variety of Industries

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Geckos are wizards at sticking to any kind of hard surface repeatedly. And they also are very adept at keeping their sticky adhesive feet clean even while running through dirt-infested jungles and deserts. So what's their secret?

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a distinctive, world-class research university that blends cutting-edge programs across many disciplines including business, computer science, the arts and sciences, engineering and public policy.

Carnegie Mellon University's Metin Sitti and his research team have discovered that the gecko remains clean in dirty environments by shedding contaminants with each step. Sitti's team consists of CMU's Yigit Menguc and Uyiosa Abusomwan, and Hendrik Hoefscher and Michael Rohrig of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.

In a paper to appear Feb. 19 in the Interface Journal of the British Royal Society, Sitti and his team successfully emulated the contact self-cleaning ability of geckos in nature.

"We performed contact self-cleaning experiments with three different sizes of mushroom-shaped elastomer microfibers and five different sizes of spherical silica contaminants. Using a load-drag-unload dry contact cleaning process similar to the loads acting on the gecko foot during climbing, our fully-contaminated synthetic gecko-adhesive could recover lost stickiness and lost adhesion at a rate comparable with that of the gecko," said Sitti, head of CMU's NanoRobotics Lab and a professor of mechanical engineering.  

Sitti, who was recently inducted as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), reports that the relative size and scale — the ratio of the average contaminant particle diameter to the fiber tip diameter — determine the mechanism and cleaning performance of the sticky adhesive. His team found that contaminant particle rolling and particle embedding among fiber spacing during the drag process were the main mechanisms of contact self-cleaning.     

"Our work has implications for use of this synthetic gecko-adhesive in a variety of industry sectors including, defense, consumer products, sports, automotive, medicine, aerospace and robotics applications," Sitti said.

This research has been funded by the Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division of the National Science Foundation.

Sitti also is using his work with geckos to inspire new methods to print electronics on complex surfaces. Along with researchers, Sitti developed a reversible adhesion method for printing electronics on a swath of complex surfaces such as clothing, plastic and leather. His team designed a square polymer stamp with pyramid micro-tips that allows them to control adhesion strength.

"We are very close to commercializing the gecko-inspired synthetic adhesives for use in many industry sectors," said Sitti, also founder and president of nanoGriptech, Inc., a 2009 CMU spinoff company.           

About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 12,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon's main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico.

Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20020422/CMULOGO

SOURCE Carnegie Mellon University

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it has become the most popular among the new wave of applications running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Relations at Redis Labs, shared the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Phil Hombledal, Solution Architect at CollabNet, discussed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...
"We are the public cloud providers. We are currently providing 50% of the resources they need for doing e-commerce business in China and we are hosting about 60% of mobile gaming in China," explained Yi Zheng, CPO and VP of Engineering at CDS Global Cloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...