Geckos are small lizards of the claw-footed family known for their unique ability to move on smooth vertical surfaces, including glass.
This is made possible by tiny hooks and lamellar bristles located on their toes, which provide grip on the smallest irregularities on vertical surfaces, even on glass. But that's not all. Geckos in motion very skillfully redistribute their body weight.
A clue from nature was taken advantage of by Stanford University bionics engineers led by Matt Goodman, who developed a device with which you can climb glass surfaces. Unsurprisingly, the project was funded in part by the military agency DARPA.
The device includes hand-held pads with an adhesive based on polydimethyloxane, a component of many natural water-repellent coatings. As the hands touch the glass, the glue is detached from the plane and a person weighing up to 100 kg can confidently climb up the glass surface.
The creators of the device are confident that their technology will certainly be in demand, in particular by cleaning companies specializing in window cleaning. After all, then there will be no need for bulky ladders and special cradles.