Researches at MIT have built a robotic snail to test mathematical models of how snails move and stay stuck to surfaces. The device is able to climb slime slathered vertical walls and ceilings by a process which loosely imitates the real deal. See, the artificial gastropod has five movable segments on its underside. After each has advanced, the body itself slides forward allowing the robot to inch forward on a surface covered with a 1.5-milimeter layer of Laponite (aka, slime). While slow, this means of locomotion allows the device to crawl over just about anything. The "secret" is to "keep the snail as light as possible (31.6 grams), while ensuring the Laponite has just the right stickiness." Er, that's not a secret folks.
[Via Robot Gossip]