The BBC’s Children's series Beyond Bionic’s Andy Torbet puts the Z-Man climbing system to the test
CAMBRIDGE, MA—Action adventurer Andy Torbet matched the super-skills of nature’s most fearless climber—the gecko—in a breath-taking climb up the glass exterior of a tall office building. Torbet did it using Draper’s Z-Man climbing system, inspired by the gecko. Key to the gecko’s ability to climb is the unique structure of the pads on its feet.
Torbet climbed the EF Education First building, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the BBC Children's television series “Beyond Bionic.”
Draper’s Z-Man system for wall-climbing uses pistons, suction cups and a gecko skin-like surface that is small, compact and can enable a person to climb glass and other surfaces that would otherwise be very challenging to scale. The device’s size and mobility also enables a climber to scale surfaces and climb in conditions that most wall-climbing solutions cannot match, according to David Carter, a developer of Draper’s Z-Man system.
“By its nature, climbing a wall is a challenge for humans, but with Draper’s Z-Man climbing system, we have a vivid demonstration of a real-world test for this new technology,” Carter said. He added that Draper is actively seeking commercial partners for the next important steps in bringing this Z-Man climbing system to customers who can use it—from licensing through production to distribution and market introduction.
Under the Z-Man program, Draper developed and delivered two other solutions, including SpineHold and MagnetoHold, which benefited from Draper’s cross-discipline team of engineers, scientists and designers. Draper’s SpineHold system supports reversible attachment to rough, flat surfaces such as concrete block. Draper’s MagnetoHold system supports weight suspended from any magnetic surface.