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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Getting a grip underwater: The suction disc of the northern clingfish inspires a reversible underwater adhesion mechanism

  • Author(s): Sandoval, Jessica ALEXANDRA
  • Advisor(s): Tolley, Michael T
  • et al.
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Non-destructive reversible adhesion is difficult to achieve on rough surfaces underwater. In an effort to design a mechanism of reversible adhesion, we sought inspiration from the northern clingfish (Gobiesox), which has evolved the impressive ability to stick onto irregular substrates while subject to intertidal surges. The mechanisms of adhesion in the biological system were investigated and applied to an engineered mimic. The artificial suction disc adhered to rough surfaces and non-planar shapes, outperforming commercial suction cups and on par with the performance of the clingfish. This design has many potential applications, including underwater manipulation, sensor packages, and soft robotic locomotion.

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This item is under embargo until June 22, 2020.