South Korean researchers have developed a material that imitates the tensile strength and flexibility of spider webs.
They say the material will have quite useful applications.
Our Kim Do-yeon reports.
Scientists at Seoul National University have developed a new material based on the strengths of spider webs.
Made of organogels surrounded by silicone rubber, their 'Ionic Spider web' is not only strong, but elastic and self-cleaning.
The scientists' research was published in July's edition of Science Robotics.
"The spider web robots are composed of soft materials and can be stretched up to three times. The stretch ability contributed to capture target larger than the robot's body. After stretched, a target 68 times heavier than robots can be tightly captured."
The ionic web uses electro-static adhesion to capture objects and as it stretches more, the power of adhesion gets stronger.
The scientists made the web become sticky when an object comes near.
In nature, spiders use 'sling force' to clean their webs and keep them sticky.
The web is also able to clean itself by vibrating to remove dust or other small particles.
They look forward to applying the technology in real life.
It could be used in artificial tissues and muscles, or to enhance the capacities of heavy machinery.
(Stand-up ed: Devin)
"The researchers said that with further study, they'll be able to apply ionic spider webs to existing robots and machines without the need for radical changes to the machines' design."
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.