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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • May 24, 2011

Robot Uses Bernoulli Principle & Supersonic Air Jets To Stick To Any Surface [Video]

Remember the Bernoulli's Principle that you learned in your fluid dynamics class? The principle states that during the fluid flow; as the speed of fluid increases, its pressure decreases and at the same time, its potential energy increases. A team of engineers and researchers at University of Canterbury in New Zealand have developed a robot that uses the principle to stick to any surface. The amazing thing about their robot is that it does not touches the surface it is sticking to any any point.


The robotic gripper employs a mechanism which uses air as fluid and a circular disc to squirt supersonic air flow around the edges. This assembly generates enough vacuum force to make the robot 'grab' the surface without actually touching it. The main advantage of this system is that it can grab any surface like fabric, glass, brick walls etc. Bernoulli grippers, until now, suffered a major drawback - they didn't produce a strong bond with the surface and this imposed various restrictions in their usage. However, the robot developed by NZ team produces the bond up to 5 times stronger than traditional systems. The geometry used by the new air gripper developed is non-contact adhesive pad usually abbreviated as NCAP. It's been designed to use a 25 ?m gap to force the air passing through it to supersonic speed. The system does not require increased air pressure or air-flow as it automatically compresses the air and speeds it up.

Once the technology is fully developed, it can be used in development of industrial robots, toys, military surveillance equipments etc. Watch the following demonstration of the robot 'sticking' to various surfaces and even crossing the 'gaps'.


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