You can design a robot that can go just about anywhere, but making one that can climb sheer vertical walls is quite a trick. This robot took its inspiration from the gecko, using something called the Van der Waals force to provide perfect adhesion to any solid surface even when going straight up vertically.
The TBCP-II (Tailless Timing Belt Climbing Platform) has tank-like treads covered with tiny mushroom shaped pads which are a mere 17 x 10 micrometers in size, which translates to about 10-15 times smaller than the thickness of a typical human hair. These pads are made from a material called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which has a dry adhesive quality kind of like the gecko's feet.
Developed by researchers at Simon Fraser University, they believe TBCP-II can be used for everything from inspections of pipe, buildings, aircraft and nuclear facilities, to search and rescue when equipped with a camera.
At least when they went to the gecko for inspiration, they didn't feel the need to cover the robot with ads for a certain insurance company.