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Scientists develop sticky tape inspired by insect feet

Nilay Patel

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Black gaffer tape might be about to get a run for its money as our fix-it of choice -- researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, in collaboration with a team at Carnegie Mellon, are working on a new type of tape that gets its stick from a pattern of microscopic ridges modeled after insect feet. The two teams studied over 300 insects to develop the tape, which can be reused hundreds of times before losing its stickiness then simply washed in soapy water to regain its initial grip. Tests of the tape have enabled a 4-ounce robot to climb walls, and the team says that although it'll never be as cheap or as strong as regular old Scotch, the product they've nicknamed "insect tape" will be reasonably cheap to use around the house. Yeah, but can you build a server out of it?

In this article: insect, insect tape, InsectTape, tape
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