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Description

Robust climbing in unstructured environments is a long-standing challenge in robotics research. Recently there has been an increasing interest in using adhesive materials for that purpose. For example, a climbing robot using hot melt adhesives (HMAs) has demonstrated advantages in high attachment strength, reasonable operation costs, and applicability to different surfaces. Despite the advantages, there still remain several problems related to the attachment and detachment operations, which prevent this approach from being used in a broader range of applications. Among others, one of the main problems lies in the fact that the adhesive characteristics of this material were not fully understood fin the context of robotic climbing locomotion. As a result, the previous robot often could not achieve expected locomotion performances and ``contaminated'' the environment with HMAs left behind. In order to improve the locomotion performances, this paper focuses on attachment and detachment operations in robot climbing with HMAs. By systematically analyzing the adhesive property and bonding strength of HMAs to different materials, we propose a novel detachment mechanism that substantially improves climbing performances without HMA traces.

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