Ferro Fluid Climbing Pads

The goal of this thesis is to build a wall climbing system that utilizes the viscosity property of ferrofluids. Ferrofluid viscosity is varies based on the magnetic field applied to it and this property enables ferrofluids to be used as an adhesive. This would allow a human, with a specially designed climbing gripper, to climb up walls by varying the magnetic field on the ferrofluid that sits between the gripping surface and the wall. While this concept sounds feasible, it is completely untested. The goal of this study was to create theoretical models of how a gripper would work, and then build a climbing gripper using the data from the models. We found that it is theoretically possible to build a ferrofluid climbing system that would allow a human to climb a wall. We then used finite element analysis to optimize a permanent magnet array. Finally, we designed, built, and tested a system around our analysis and found that the gripper did not work and the system was unable to carry any load.

For more information and to see the final design and analysis please read the thesis [🔗]