Geckskin is a fabric-based adhesive device inspired by the gecko foot, which utilizes a skin-tendon-bone connection to give the lizard a superb ability to adhere to almost any surface.
Like many adhesive products such as Velcro, glue and tape, Geckskin is composed of commercial materials such as nylon and polyurethane, among others. However, unlike those disposable products, the reusable Geckskin does not leave any sticky residue.
Developed at the University of Massachusetts, Geckskin is based on a theory referred to as "draping adhesion," which replicates gecko-like properties on a large scale and gives the device an impressive load capacity. Dangling from a support frame, a four-by-four square inch piece of the material held 300 pounds suspended from a piece of glass that was adhered to the Geckskin. Stick that same swath on a wall and its surface area can support 700 pounds.
Geckskin has four components, all of which are tune-able to customer's needs: an elastic adhesive pad, a draping fabric-based skin, an integrated tendon and a distributed connection to a load-bearing skeleton.
"We have been able to create 100 percent renewable forms of Geckskin, and Geckskin is designed to be reused thousands of times," said Rana Gupta, CEO if Felsuma, the company that commercializes Geckskin. "For these reasons, our innovation is a step forward towards a more environmentally friendly approach."