Departmental Papers (ESE)


We review a large multidisciplinary effort to develop a family of autonomous robots capable of rapid, agile maneuvers in and around natural and artificial vertical terrains such as walls, cliffs, caves, trees and rubble. Our robot designs are inspired by (but not direct copies of) biological climbers such as cockroaches, geckos, and squirrels. We are incorporating advanced materials (e.g., synthetic gecko hairs) into these designs and fabricating them using state of the art rapid prototyping techniques (e.g., shape deposition manufacturing) that permit multiple iterations of design and testing with an effective integration path for the novel materials and components. We are developing novel motion control techniques to support dexterous climbing behaviors that are inspired by neuroethological studies of animals and descended from earlier frameworks that have proven analytically tractable and empirically sound. Our near term behavioral targets call for vertical climbing on soft (e.g., bark) or rough surfaces and for ascents on smooth, hard steep inclines (e.g., 60 degree slopes on metal or glass sheets) at one body length per second.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Subject Area

GRASP, Kodlab

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Proceedings of SPIE



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Copyright/Permission Statement

Copyright 2005 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


climbing robots, gecko adhesion, bioinspired design, power autonomous locomotion, scansorial agility

Bib Tex

@inproceedings{Autumn_Provancher_Rizzi_Saranli_Saunders_Koditschek_Autumn_Buehler_Cutkosky_Fearing_et al._2005, title={Robotics In Scansorial Environments}, volume={5804}, DOI={10.1117/12.606157}, booktitle={Proceedings of SPIE}, author={Autumn, Kellar and Provancher, W. and Rizzi, A. A. and Saranli, U. and Saunders, A. and Koditschek, D. E. and Autumn, Kellar and Buehler, Martin and Cutkosky, Mark and Fearing, Ronald and et al.}, year={2005}, pages={291–302} }



Date Posted: 17 December 2020