Bio-Inspired Adhesive Footpad for Legged Robot Climbing under Reduced Gravity: Multiple Toes Facilitate Stable Attachment
This paper presents the design of a legged robot with gecko-mimicking mechanism and mushroom-shaped adhesive microstructure (MSAMS) that can climb surfaces under reduced gravity. The design principle, adhesion performance and roles of different toes of footpad are explored and discussed in this paper. The effect of the preload velocity, peeling velocity and thickness of backing layering on the reliability of the robot are investigated. Results show that pull-force is independent of preload velocity, while the peeling force is relying on peeling velocity, and the peel strength increased with the increasing thickness of the backing layer. The climbing experiments show that the robot can climb under mimic zero gravity by using multiple toes facilitating adhesion. The robot with new type of footpads also provides a good platform for testing different adhesive materials for the future space applications.