Mini Review : Comparison of Bio-Inspired Adhesive Feet of Climbing Robots on Smooth Vertical Surfaces
Developing climbing robots for smooth vertical surfaces (e.g., glass) is one of the most challenging problems in robotics. Here, the adequate functioning of an adhesive foot is an essential factor for successful locomotion performance. Among the various technologies (such as dry adhesion, wet adhesion, magnetic adhesion, and pneumatic adhesion), bio-inspired dry adhesion has been actively studied and successfully applied to climbing robots. Thus, this review focuses on the characteristics of two different types of foot microstructures, namely spatula-shaped and mushroom-shaped, capable of generating such adhesion. These are the most used types of foot microstructures in climbing robots for smooth vertical surfaces. Moreover, this review shows that the spatula-shaped feet are particularly suitable for massive and one-directional climbing robots, whereas mushroom-shaped feet are primarily suitable for light and all-directional climbing robots. Consequently, this study can guide roboticists in selecting the right adhesive foot to achieve the best climbing ability for future robot developments.