Bioinspired photocontrollable microstructured transport device

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Science Robotics  18 Jan 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 2, eaak9454
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aak9454

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Geckos, which can walk upside down on vertical and underneath horizontal surfaces, owe this ability to the hierarchical structures under their toes. These structures are responsible for substantial adhesion and, at the same time, for quick detachment by mechanical stimulus through leg movements. Inspired by such stimuli-responsive systems in nature, we developed an artificial, photocontrollable microstructured transport device. Through tunable ultraviolet light illumination, the adhesive ability of this bioinspired transport device is reduced up to a factor of 2.7 in terms of adhesive forces and is quickly recovered when the light stimulus ceases. This bioinspired photocontrollable device has been used in a pick-up and drop-down system for transporting planar and three-dimensional solid objects.

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