Title: Experimental investigation on attachment properties of dry adhesives used in climbing robots

Authors: Matthew W. Powelson; Stephen L. Canfield

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee, 38505, USA ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee, 38505, USA

Abstract: Mobile climbing robots commonly use magnets or active suction as their adhesive elements, but dry elastomer adhesives and particularly bio-inspired patterned elastomer adhesives are an area of increasing interest in robotics research. However, these patterned elastomer adhesives are not widely available. As a result, the authors propose the use of a commercially-available micro suction tape known as Regabond-S as the adhesion mechanism for climbing robots. In order to be useful in design, the performance of the adhesive must be understood. The authors propose a model for micro suction tapes that relates preloading with the maximum sustainable adhesion. The model suggests that the adhesion comes from a combination of van der Waals and suction forces, and its performance falls between unpatterned and patterned elastomers. The model is then experimentally verified and compared with other elastomer adhesives on acrylic, brushed aluminium, and steel surfaces. These results are then demonstrated on a track-based climbing mobile robot.

Keywords: Regabond-S; suction cup tape; dry adhesive; climbing robots; Vytaflex; micro suction; elastomeric adhesion; van der Waals.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMRS.2018.10017187

International Journal of Mechanisms and Robotic Systems, 2018 Vol.4 No.3, pp.192 - 213

Received: 27 Nov 2017
Accepted: 28 Jan 2018

Published online: 31 Oct 2018 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article