Engineers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, have developed a robot inspired by geckos and inchworms.

Dubbed GeiwBot, the tiny, 4 cm long, 3 mm wide, 1 mm thick robot reportedly mimics the gripping ability of geckos and the movement of inchworms using a combination of ultraviolet light and magnetic force.

Source: University of WaterlooSource: University of Waterloo

According to the Waterloo engineers, the GeiwBot can move up walls and across ceilings without an external power connection. Instead, the robot, which is composed of liquid crystal elastomers and synthetic adhesive pads, features a light responsive polymer strip that enables it to mimic the stretching and arching of inchworms while gecko-inspired magnetic pads enable the robot to grip to surfaces.

The University of Waterloo team is eyeing the GeiwBot to assist surgeons and to access hard-to-reach or inaccessible spaces.

The GeiwBot is detailed in the article, Gecko-and-inchworm-inspired untethered soft robot for climbing on walls and ceilings, which appears in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science.

For more on the GeiwBot, watch the accompanying video that appears courtesy of the University of Waterloo.

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