Demonstration of Geckskin, a gecko inspired adhesive which can adhere to a wide range of surfaces, can support high loads, and can be used repeatedly.
Geckskin, which is being developed at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has solved many of these problems by moving away from direct biomimicry of the gecko toe material and using a "draping adhesion" based on wider fibers instead of the smaller hairs that geckos have. Geckskin is able to stick to anything that's vaguely smooth, including glass, metal, drywall, and wood, and it even works on surfaces that are slightly curved.
The big advantage of Geckskin (besides the loads that it can bear) is that it's very easy to remove from surfaces. Like gecko toes, Geckskin has to be loaded in one specific direction to stick: while there's weight on it pulling down, it'll adhere, but removing the weight and pulling up will peel it right off. To work best, it looks like you have to force the Geckskin very tightly against the surface with a tool, but that doesn't diminish its convenience or usefulness by much.
Watch the video below for seven minutes worth of clips demonstrating that Geckskin really can stick to different surfaces over and over and over; the UMass team has just published a paper on Geckskin, and we're hoping that some kind of commercial development is coming next. And maybe this.