A Ford Gecko? Here’s Why FoMoCo is Studying Geckos

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Sometimes, nature just does it best. After decades of using adhesives that do their jobs a little too well, Ford Motor Company is turning to bimimicry, “an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies,” to figure out a better solution. Why? Many of the glues used today make disassembling and recycling many old car parts nearly impossible.

A gecko offers a possible way around this. The pads on the fingers and toes of geckos allow the animal to suction or stick to a surface without any film whatsoever and to easily release when it chooses to. That’s what Ford is looking to do.

gecko

According to National Geographic, the gecko’s natural abilities could support the weight of the animal with just one pad. Via an article from 2002, this is because the pads have “millions of tiny foot hairs to adhere to even molecularly smooth surfaces.” The article also states the stickiness “depends on weak molecular attractive forces called van der Waals forces.”

Like we said, this discovery was made back in 2002, which means the technology is already out there. It’s literally called GeckSkin. So what’s Ford wasting its time on? Time to make a deal!

Via [Durham Region]

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