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Pentagon Tests DARPA 'Spider-Man' Climbing Equipment

Arash Zandi |
June 9, 2014 | 7:32 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Spider-Man would be proud of these pads! (Twitter/@dabeard)
Spider-Man would be proud of these pads! (Twitter/@dabeard)
The Pentagon successfully tested equipment that bears a strong similarity to comic book hero Spider-Man’s climbing ability, says The Telegraph.

The Z-Man project, created by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was inspired by spiders’ and geckos’ abilities to scale vertical surfaces, and hopes to replicate this ability in soldiers to mimic the Marvel superhero’s trademark skill, reports The Washington Post.

DARPA created adhesive pads that are able to support the weight of soldiers carrying heavy equipment, but the pads are still not yet finished, according to Slash Gear.

READ MORE: DARPA Shows Off Robot That Changes Tires On Its Own, Promises More Advances

"The gecko is one of the champion climbers in the Animal Kingdom, so it was natural for DARPA to look to it for inspiration in overcoming some of the maneuver challenges that U.S. forces face in urban environments," said the DARPA program manager for the Z-Man project, Dr. Matt Goodman.

The Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, MA created the adhesive on the pads which could also be used for civilian purposes, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

According to The Daily Mail, geckos can hang their entire body by one toe and their feet are filled with miniature suction tips called spatulas.

Now that they’ve got the climbing down pat, DARPA should also give soldiers Spidey sense and the ability to shoot webs!

Reach Executive Producer Arash Zandi here. Follow him on Twitter here.



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