By Andrew Liszewski
In the cartoons walking up a wall is as easy as finding yourself a set of toilet plungers, tying them to your hands and feet and then going at it. In real life I’m afraid that approach just doesn’t work. (Trust me on that one.) I assume the engineers behind the Gekkomat came to the same conclusion and decided to build themselves an actual way to walk up walls.
The Gekkomat is based on the way a real-life Gecko is able to cling to any surface, even when upside down. It uses 4 seperate pads connected to air tanks that are similar in size to those worn by firefighters. The pressurized air in the tanks is used to create a vacuum effect on the surface of the pads allowing them to stick to smooth concrete, sandstone, plaster, wood, glass or metal. The current configuration allows for a half-hour of operation on a concrete surface and while the unit itself weighs about 25kg it’s actually able to support weights up to 1 metric ton.
For now the Gekkomat is really only a working prototype and is sadly not available for sale. And I can only assume that eVen when this device is perfected it will be subjected to years of safety testing before I can get my hands on it.