News & Events
Scientists taught geckos to run on water
- November 2, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
Geckos, which are one of the most amazing species of lizards, is one way or another a real inspiration for many scientists and developers around the world – the fact is that this creature has truly unique patterns of movement, regeneration and behavior, which can be used as models inspiration for creating artificial systems of robots and materials. In particular, scientists are amazed at the high degree of stickiness and water-repellent properties of gecko skin, seeing this as an excellent reason for trying to create an artificial system or material of this kind. However, experts from the University of California discovered another interesting property of geckos when they move.
The fact is that experts were able to establish that geckos can very effectively and quickly move along the surface of the water, without drowning in it. Such an interesting mechanism of movement combines many individual characteristics and patterns of many animals and insects, and at the same time is unique exclusively to geckos. Having studied this mechanism in more detail, experts found that for such a movement geckos use the so-called “surface tension” – in the manner of spiders and insects that can move on the surface of the water, relying solely on the ratio of their weight and surface density.
However, given the noticeably larger weight of the average gecko, it becomes clear that other aspects are also used in this mechanism – for example, their paws create continuous hits on the surface with their entire area, and the tails, in the manner of alligators, provide reactive traction and stabilization during movement – which together allows them to successfully overcome water barriers on the surface.
Thus, this established new fact about geckos once again confirms the need to pay closer attention to them in the context of developing various systems and techniques related to improving the movement and behavior of various robotics. In addition, geckos can be a wonderful inspiration for creating extremely durable and water-repellent materials.