A survey of climbing robots: Locomotion and adhesion

Baeksuk Chu, Kyungmo Jung, Chang Soo Han, Daehie Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

200 Citations (Scopus)


Climbing robots are robotic systems to move over 2D or complex 3D environments such as walls, ceilings, roofs, and geometric structures and to conduct various tasks. They will not only replace human workers for carrying out risky tasks in hazardous environments, but also increase operational efficiency by eliminating the costly erection of scaffolding and staffing costs. Climbing robots have special characteristics and the ability to adhere to different types of 2D or 3D surfaces, move around, and carry appropriate tools and sensors to work, while self-sustaining their bodies. Therefore, the most significant criterion for designing a climbing robot is to equip it with an appropriate locomotive and adhesion mechanism for adapting to the given environmental requirements. In this paper, a classification of climbing robots and proper examples with a brief outline are presented with considerations of the locomotive and adhesion mechanisms. Also, a list of climbing robots is provided with respect to fields of application that range from cleaning tasks in the construction industry to human care systems in the biomedical service industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-647
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Aug


  • Adhesion
  • Climbing
  • Engineering application
  • Locomotion
  • Robot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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