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back to article SPIDER-TROOP, Spider-troop, does whatever a spider troop can

Mad military boffinry agency DARPA has come up with the latest iteration of a fan-favourite tech – gecko-inspired climbing pads that will allow GI Joes to scale walls like Spider-Man. The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has used its Z-Man project to get the first known example of a human climbing a 25-foot (7. …

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But will it get him out of the bath?

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But will it get him out of the bath?

Unfortunately, the Internet has only 4 references to this, but with the aid of the appropriate Japanese chindogou (in this case, a ladder specifically designed for a spider to escape a slippery bath), the answer is "yes". (by themselves, the spider gloves, zey do nothing, though).

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"war-fighters"?!?

As opposed to what? Seal clubbers? War lovers? Whatever happened to the soldiers? Guessing someone ran corporate speak up Darpa's flagpole, and that got socialised out to the media...

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Re: "war-fighters"?!?

I think it refers to people who are actually doing the shooting and being shot at; as opposed to support staff who are also soldiers.

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Re: "war-fighters"?!?

Inter-service rivalry/jealousies.

Some "war fighters" do not want to be called "soldiers" (implying army), preferring "aviators", "sailors" or "marines" instead.

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Coat

Re: "war-fighters"?!?

I'd suggest that the requirements to climb sheer walls in the air or at sea is somewhat limited.

Commandos climbing aboard a ship from sea-level perhaps.

The alternative might be to surgically attach these to sailors and then remove all the ladders from ships, making them difficult to commandeer by opposing forces.

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Re: "war-fighters"?!?

'Democracy Installation Technicians*' is the favoured euphemism of the internet - I'm surprised that the military PR hasn't tried to adopt this one.

*"Hello, Iraq here. I appear to be having some trouble with my recently installed Democracy, can you put me through to your support line?"

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Devil

Why not just use gecko feet stuck to a board?

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If it's so good...

why does the pic show a bloke who needs a hard hat and a safety harness? Looks like the title should have read:

DARPA's Z-Man gecko tech turns MAINTENANCE LACKY into FRIGHTENED GUINEA PIG

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Re: If it's so good...

Workplace health and safety… I don't think anyone had any say in the matter.

It didn't look like a combat situation.

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Coat

Why not just use gecko feet stuck to a board?

How would you get the gecko feet to stick to... oh never mind.

(It's gecko feet all the way down)

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FAIL

FLAW #1

You don't often see perfectly clean glass surfaces in a War Zone.

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Re: FLAW #1

That's because they're clean

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Re: FLAW #1

You don't often see INTACT glass surfaces in a War Zone.

FTFY. Glass is the first thing to go either by explosions or bullets from attackers or broken out by defenders who don't want to get by the stuff.

IF this will work on brick, stone, concrete, wood, etc. then they're on to something useful. Not just military either.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: FLAW #1

"That's because they're clean"

BA DUMP BA!

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"first known example"

Hasn't this already been done on Mythbusters ages ago?

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Re: "first known example"

They did, as did gadget show too

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Re: "first known example"

Not exactly, Mythbusters used vacuum pads which is an entirely different technology and pretty old hat. What Darpa demonstrated is cutting edge and very cool.

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Was I the only one who saw this and immediately thought of applications in space? Imagine the sole of boots and gloves in spacesuits covered with this. New designs for tethers. Robots could use it too. Could be a good way to grab a satellite you wanted to do maintenance on. Instead of grabbing it with a robot arm, have the arm end in a pad of this stuff and put it against the best surface you can manage.

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Space sounds like an excellent location to use this[1]

Space is at least clean, at least most of the bits we've stuck up there are. I can't help feeling there's going to be a certain amount of dust and mud sticking to places you might want to climb while fighting.

[1] and in space, no-one can hear you scream if you fall off.

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Re: Space sounds like an excellent location to use this[1]

Which begs the question, how come gecko feet don't get clogged with dust?

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"Which begs the question, how come gecko feet don't get clogged with dust?"

And the even more pertinent question: why are we sending humans into space to retrieve satellites instead of specially trained geckos?

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Anonymous Coward

yet another device that only works well against it's own

so here we have a device that allows scaling of tall vertical urban surfaces. the likes of which are mostly to be found in Western Society.

Another weapon system that works best against the people who paid for it, and is useless against foreign threats. Not gonna use this to climb a single story mud hut or mountainsides.

Just like making weapons to "wound" (and theoretically remove that soldier and the buddies who haul him to safety) doesn't work when your enemy gives not a single f**k about his own casualties, or the casualties themselves have no self preservation built into their mission.

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He's climbing glass because...

it's the best surface to prove the tech works. Ever see a gecko fall off a rock? No, because it works on most surfaces, it's small scale surface interaction, so doesn't require the surface to be smooth. Nice flat sheets of the stuff on nice flat stiff boards that can have hand holds attached is just the simplest way to work with it.

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Re: He's climbing glass because...

The effect is due to the Van der Waals quantum effect explained here http://faculty.washington.edu/bergs/Simon_Sponberg/Gecko_Adhesion.html

Quite a few people have been playing around with this for a number of reasons, including I suspect The Great cat burglar of Santiago de Compostela

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Re: He's climbing glass because...

So, no matter what this suff costs, if it works, there will be a huge market for it outside of the governments.

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Coat

When this technology inevitably gets disseminated to law enforcement we get...

Spider-pig?

(Mine's the Spiderman suit by the door...OK, its actually adult-sized Spiderman underoos.....No, I am not proud of that.)

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Re: When this technology inevitably gets disseminated to law enforcement we get...

Just sitting here reading El Reg and a gecko ran across the window in front of me and caught a large juicy moth. Excluding the juicy moth it looked really cool, if I could get the pads from DARPA I'd consider getting Spidey 'jamas.

Who's gonna take the mick when you are running across their ceiling?

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Trollface

Re: When this technology inevitably gets disseminated to law enforcement we get...

Ya misspelt "under ooze".

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Coat

Re: When this technology inevitably gets disseminated to law enforcement we get...

> Ya misspelt "under ooze".

Under ooze law is that a crime?

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Terminator

Re: When this technology inevitably gets disseminated to law enforcement we get...

"Under ooze law is that a crime?"

OK, you got me there.

Since it isn't covered by the 3 Laws of Robotics*, must me legal...

*none of the other laws matter

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Anonymous Coward

What I learned today

If 25 ft is 7.62 m, then the popular rifle caliber 7.62 mm is 1/40 ft.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Re: What I learned today

... and 1/40ft is exactly 0.3 inches. Seems a reasonable origin for 7.62mm. Not sure why they didn't choose (say) 5/16" instead though.

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High Ground

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Re: High Ground

Sublime!

One upvote isn't enough:-(

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Coat

Re: High Ground

Or you could just throw a chair at the pane of glass being climbed...

I guess MS' HQ is pretty safe.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: High Ground

You should have gone into advertising. :)

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Childcatcher

Z-Man

Hmm. I wonder how the game company feels about DARPA using their name.

(I recommend Pandemic. Which does sound DARPA-like, now that I think of it.)

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Go

Pandemic

Up-vote for the Pandemic recommendation. It's a great co-operative game for small groups and, just occasionally, it lets you win!

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Geckoman

Someone should write a song about that. Oh hang on, someone has...

http://www.mitchbenn.com/music-stuff/70/geckoman.html

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