Science

Marvel, a robot that can climb walls and ceilings

Korean researchers have developed a four-legged robot that can move quickly even vertically.

Could this robot’s name, Marvel, be a reference to superhero studios? Although he can climb walls like Spider-Man, his name actually means “Magnetic Adhesive Robot for Versatile and Fast Movement”. The results of experiments carried out with this robot were recently published in the journal Science Robotics.

Great variety of rides

Marvel is a four-legged robot that can stick to metal surfaces (known as ferromagnetic) due to the special design of its legs. The latter consist of electro-permanent magnets and a magnetorheological elastomer, which gives them magnetic properties while increasing their adhesion. He can walk on smooth vertical walls without slipping or falling.

The researchers specify that it can pass from floor to wall and from wall to ceiling. He is also capable of other complex movements, such as walking ten centimeters wide pits, overcoming obstacles five centimeters high, and even climbing the curved surface of a tank covered with a layer of paint, rust and dust 0.3 centimeters thick. He also stands out for his speed, moving at 50 centimeters per second on ceilings and 70 centimeters per second on walls.

Useful robot for inspection missions

“We believe this could be a cornerstone that expands mobility and allows robots to take risks,” said Yong Um, one of the co-authors of the study. These robots can be used to perform dangerous and complex tasks on metal structures such as shipyards. »

Marvel can really be useful for inspecting and maintaining metal structures that are difficult for other robots to access, such as bridges, power pylons, and various construction sites.

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