This paper proposes a multi-level hierarchical model for the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) adhesive system and analyses the digital behaviour of the G. gecko under macro/meso-level scale. The model describes the structures of G. gecko's adhesive system from the nano-level spatulae to the sub-millimetre-level lamella. The G. gecko's seta is modelled using inextensible fibril based on Euler's elastica theorem. Considering the side contact of the spatular pads of the seta on the flat and rigid substrate, the directional adhesion behaviour of the seta has been investigated. The lamella-induced attachment and detachment have been modelled to simulate the active digital hyperextension (DH) and the digital gripping (DG) phenomena. The results suggest that a tiny angular displacement within 0.25° of the lamellar proximal end is necessary in which a fast transition from attachment to detachment or vice versa is induced. The active DH helps release the torque to induce setal non-sliding detachment, while the DG helps apply torque to make the setal adhesion stable. The lamella plays a key role in saving energy during detachment to adapt to its habitat and provides another adhesive function which differs from the friction-dependent setal adhesion system controlled by the dynamic of G. gecko's body.
- Received February 8, 2015.
- Accepted May 26, 2015.
- © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.