"A team of researchers at Stanford has developed a way to scale glass walls using pads that attach to a person's hands. [...] The inspiration behind the design was not actually Spider-Man, but the gecko, which is able to climb up a variety of surfaces using what are known as van der Waals forces. To replicate these electric forces, the Stanford team created hexagon-shaped pads about the size of pingpong paddles. They then covered them in tiny tiles made from polydimethylsiloxane -- a silicon material commonly found in water-repellant coatings. The material itself isn't actually sticky like tape or glue. Like a gecko's toes, the tiles have tiny nanofibers that make the pads strong enough to cling to glass surfaces. Flexible springs behind the tiles help to distribute the weight."