Makarand writes "Geckos have the remarkable ability to climb the most smooth surfaces and hang from glass ceilings with a single toe. Their feet are covered with millions of nanoscopic keratin hairs that can exert an intermolecular force - called van der Waals force - producing an adhesive effect on surfaces they walk on. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have been able to mimic the adhesive ability of Gecko feet with a synthetic material that could find applications in new types of vehicle tires or allowing robots to climb walls. The material is made by using a mould created by a lithographic process and consists of a flexibile and strong substrate covered with 100 million nanoscopic hair each centimetre square. It might take several more years before Gecko tape is made commercially available to the wanna-be Spiderman, but he will have to thank the Gecko for that, not the spider."
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