Researchers are developing a new kind of gripper, motivated by the ability of animals like the gecko to grip and release surfaces. Like the gecko, the gripper has ‘tunable adhesion,’ meaning that, despite having no moving parts, its effective stickiness can be tuned from strong to weak. Unlike the gecko and other artificial imitators that rely on structures with complex shapes, the team’s gripper uses a simpler, two-material structure that is easier to mass-produce.