Spider-Man suit may allow people to scurry up buildings

A suit that began life on the pages of a Marvel comic might soon make its debut in the real world, according to scientists who have worked out how to make a sticky Spider-Man type outfit.

The researchers say it is possible to make clothing that mimics the natural stickiness employed by spiders and geckos, which would allow a person to scurry up the side of a building or hang upside down from the ceiling.

The key, they said, is a type of microscopic Velcro capable of adhering to even smooth surfaces such as concrete or glass, but which can be easily detached, allowing the wearer to move around.

They believe microscopic hollow fibres called carbon nanotubes might be used to make the suit. “There are many interesting applications for our theory, from space exploration and defence to designing gloves and shoes for window cleaners of big skyscrapers,” said Prof Pugno, whose research appears in Condensed Matter, the Institute of Physics journal.

Source:  Guardian

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