Scientists from the United States have presented a robot that can stick to walls and ceilings. For this, the device does not need to be monitored, it is autonomous.
Researchers from the Laboratory of Bioinspired Robotics and Design (USA) have presented a new design of a robot that can stick to smooth surfaces using a vibration motor attached to a floppy disk. According to research, a fluid-mediated adhesion force between the oscillating disc and the surface is at work in the design of the device. The robot, created by the researchers, is equipped with a flexible disk with a diameter of 14 cm, which vibrates at a frequency of 200 hertz.
This vibrating disc can create a thin layer of low pressure air between the disc and the surface to which it rests. The air layer is less than one millimeter thick, but it is able to withstand a 5N force acting on it. This process creates a suction effect that does not require the disc to be constantly pressed against the surface.
Since the robot does not require constant adhesion of the disc to the surface, it can move without breaking adhesion. The researchers have created a robot with significant advantage using the new system because it is as simple and cheap as robotic climbers with a smooth surface, and can be produced on a smaller scale. However, the project team recognizes that the design also has drawbacks.
The biggest drawback is noise. 200 hertz is the frequency that a person can hear. In this case, the robot must be in working order, otherwise it will fall. Scientists working on the project also note that the robot shown in the video is the optimal size for this technology. Downsizing means that the motor makes up a disproportionate proportion of the overall weight of the unit.