SRI Engineers demonstrate electro-adhesive crawling
propulsion that lifts up to 75 pounds over verical walls
SRI’s wall-climbing robots scale vertical surfaces by virtue of electro-adhesion, which involves inducing electrostatic charges on a wall substrate. Since 2007 SRI developed several proof of principle robots, under a DARPA funded program.
These robots demonstrated robust clamping to common building materials including glass, wood, metal and concrete, with clamping pressure in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 N/Cm2 of clamp (0.8 to 2.3 pounds per Square inch).
According to Harsha Prahlad, Senior Research Engineer at SRI’s robotics group, robots developed under the program vary in weight, from small platforms weighing few pounds, as demonstrated at the exposition to heavier robots weighing up to 75 pounds.
Examples for potential military applications for such technology include reconnaissance of buildings and autonomous self-deployment of communications repeaters and network nodes, operated in urban environment.