Climbing robot uses supersonic air to stick on the wall

If you want to build a robot that can climb a wall, you normally add some kind of sticky gripper or a suction device, but this solution that uses Bernoulli's Principle appears to be far more elegant.

By shooting air out from around its pod-like feet at over 2000-mph, the pods create a lifting force much like a hovercraft. This generates enough reverse pressure to hold the entire weight of the robot. The advantage is that unlike with a sticky or suction method, the pods don't actually touch the surface and will glide easily over it.

Built by researchers at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, the robot seems to have no problem dealing with surface irregularities or even the crack between two doors. With a normal vacuum dependent robot, this type of thing would probably cause it to crash to the floor.

Now all we need are some practical uses for the thing.

Spectrum IEEE, via PopSci

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