A team of engineers and marine biologists built a better suction cup inspired by the mechanism that allows the clingfish to adhere to both smooth and rough surfaces, such as rocks in the area where the tide comes and goes.
Researchers reverse engineered the clingfish’s suction disk and developed devices that cling well to wet and dry objects both in an out of water. The devices can hold up to hundreds of times their own weight. They could be used in a wide range of applications from handling and packaging for produce, to robotic grippers in manufacturing, to the recovery of archaeological artifacts.
The University of California San Diego team presents their findings in a recent issue of the journal Bioinspiration and Biomimetics.
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