Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Studying Snail Slime Substitutes

Date:
March 24, 2007
Source:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Summary:
A team of engineers have set a small robot climbing walls in order to compare how natural and artificial snail slimes work. A snail's slime acts as both a glue and a lubricant, allowing the snail to crawl up walls and across ceilings without falling off.

Snail slime acts as both a glue and a lubricant.
Credit: Image courtesy of Royal Society of Chemistry

A team of engineers have set a small robot climbing walls in order to compare how natural and artificial snail slimes work.

Related Articles


A snail's slime acts as both a glue and a lubricant, allowing the snail to crawl up walls and across ceilings without falling off.

The snail pushes until the structure of the glue breaks, at which point it glides forward. When the snail stops, the glue structure reforms - sticking the snail safely to the ceiling.

The team, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US, and the Catholic University of Leuven (CUL), Belgium, looked at how the cycle of glue breakdown and repair works in natural snail slime.

They also studied synthetic slimes based on clay and polymers, and calculated the ideal slime properties that climbing robots would need - and found a wide range of likely candidates, including hair gel and peanut butter.

Christian Clasen, of CUL, who worked on the study, said: "Who would have thought that snails could use other soft solids such as mayonnaise or axle grease as an adhesive lubricant to climb up vertical walls?"

Co-worker Randy Ewoldt, of MIT, said: "An important result is that snail mucus per se is not required for robots to climb walls. We can make our own adhesive locomotion material with commercial products of harvesting slime from a snail farm."

Dr Ewoldt has first hand knowledge of the challenges involved in collecting snail slime.

He said: "I would entice a slug or snail with a piece of lettuce to crawl across a glass plate, and on the good days it would co-operate and leave enough of a slime trail for me to collect and test."

The news is reported in the latest edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry journalSoft Matter.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Royal Society of Chemistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Royal Society of Chemistry. "Studying Snail Slime Substitutes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070323135436.htm>.
Royal Society of Chemistry. (2007, March 24). Studying Snail Slime Substitutes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070323135436.htm
Royal Society of Chemistry. "Studying Snail Slime Substitutes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070323135436.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) The world's top mobile maker is under severe pressure, delivering a 60 percent drop in Q3 profit as its handset business struggles. Turning it around may not prove easy, says Reuters' Jon Gordon. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners now prohibit wearable cameras such as Google Glass. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) Microsoft accidentally revealed its upcoming fitness band on Wednesday, so the company went ahead and announced it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins