It's not that I *want* to pop the balloon
This robot's trick is nothing more than an application of conservation of angular momentum, and as such needed no investigation of geckos. The physics is a few hundred years old, the equations of motion derived from a Hamiltonian. Now, kids, go to Wikipedia and find out when Hamilton's formulation was cooked up.
I can only imagine the boffins brought in the gecko and the gecko-cutout piece of plastic to make their work more cutesy for the unwashed masses and the funding agencies.
This thing *really is* wanking!