back to article Spiderman Beetleman wall-crawl glove/boot tech invented

Boffins in the US say they have made a step upward in the quest for miracle switch-on, switch-off sticky devices that could allow people to walk on walls and ceilings in superhero crimefighter style. The device, brainchild of US profs Paul Steen and Michael Vogel, works using the surface tension of water. Just as two glass …


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    1. JeffShortland
      Thumb Up

      what about a canuck?

      ..I could handle that..

  2. Tony Barnes

    Stick yes, push no

    Sorry, but how can it possibly be used to push? There is surely a difference between the adhesive effect, and the pressure that could be generated by the battery...

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Excuse me for pointing out that the bumps are going to be several microns accross - that's not going to do much except possibly slightly damage the door (and you'd need an electron microscope to check...)

  3. Martin Bjelk


    Any word on what effect a thin film of soap on the smooth surface will have on the surface tension of the blobs?

    1. Richard 120


      Nice idea, I can see it now, a new service -

      Irritated by people climbing your building?

      Human flies getting you down?

      Harold Lloyd stuck to the outside of your clock face?


      Try new Soap-u-Up, we cover every inch of your building with a thin film of specially prepared (it has to be specially prepared otherwise anyone could do it) soap to reduce the surface tension.

      Caution, Soap-u-Up cannot be held responsible for any casualties that occur as a result of surface tension reduction. Special rates during wet seasons apply.

      Call now for a limited edition engraved bar of soap with each building you coat.

  4. Tim Greenwood

    Want one.

    Put me down for both the boots and gloves, and one of the rock cracking credit cards as well.

  5. Bilgepipe


    Thanks to rising obesity, the device would only be able to carry lightweight teenagers under the age of about 15 - and 'elf and safety laws would never allow them to become superheroes.

    Comic strip reality fail.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Sod the flying car

    I want my wall climbing, rock-splitting, beetle super-suit.

  7. Lionel Baden
    Thumb Up

    Useless for your feet

    But very good for industrial useage

    More effective that large energy hungry electro magnets

    cant wait to see this replicated on scrapheap :D

  8. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    But will it... kids fall out of trees?

  9. Graham Marsden

    "It's a fun thing to think about,"

    "You can think about making a credit card-sized device that you can put in a [...] door, and break it open with very little voltage," according to Steen.

    Great for when you've forgotten your keys...

  10. CADmonkey

    May I be the first....

    Crawling around on the underside of a glass ceiling?

    One for the ladies there....

    (exits at speeds in excess of 17R)

  11. John Browne 1

    Sounds like a handy gadget...

    for pulling plaster off walls and ceilings.

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    The tech has some other uses as well

    Personally, I've always wanted a wall that would be controlably "sticky." Handy for putting up diagrams, printouts, pictures etc.

    This tech also appears to function as a large area, controlled volume fluid pump for dispensing very small fluid volumes. This is *exactly* what is needed to supply some of the active heat shield ideas for reentry vehicles.

    Of course the $64 is what happens to the surface tension forces if the flow is contaminated (IE soap) or airborne particles get into the layer.

  13. alyn

    zero-G boots

    Might be good for zero-G boots in spacecraft

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