FRIA Grant - Bio-Inspired Capillary Adhesion
This thesis work intends to investigate the mechanisms of liquid-mediated adhesion observed in some invertebrates (spiders, beetles) that have hairy pads under their legs. Particular attention is given to the modulations of this adhesion that can lead to detachment and to the role played by the coupling between capillary forces and the elastic compliance of the hairs. This project aims at developing conception rules for an artificial gripper that would be able to manipulate micrometric objects. Although dry adhesion as used by geckos has already inspired many biomimetic devices, almost nothing has been said about wet adhesion from an engineering point of view. Moreover, the existing grippers always seem to consider that strong adhesion and fast detachment are incompatible, though both features coexist in the studied invertebrates.