A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Introducing GECKSKIN® Technology & the GECKSKIN® Organization System
The GECKSKIN® Organization System is the first commercially-produced application of GECKSKIN® technology, the new bio-mimetic design tech based on the amazing GRIP & PEEL™ abilities of geckos. This set of minimal fastening and hanging devices is multi-use, multi-surface, non-damaging, and designed for spontaneous problem solving.
Unlike nails, tape, screws, and other fasteners which leave holes in walls, strip paint and drywall, and are discarded after one use to landfills, Geckskin devices can be used over and over again to grip nearly any surface, peeled, and then re-gripped instantly onto another surface, without damage.
Minimal, Reusable, Multi-Surface, Load-Bearing, and Non-Damaging
Be Spontaneous, Save Money, Time, and Live Sustainably
Geckskin technology devices enable spontaneity, save time, money, minimize waste, and promote sustainability. They are load-bearing up to various weights, can be applied to nearly any surface and removed without damage, and can then be reapplied to other surfaces multiple times without needing to be discarded. They can be used multiple times over short and long periods of time, saving you money, reducing your long-term use of plastic, and making your life easier, more inventive, and spontaneous.
Use Geckskin devices to attach or hang items in your home, office, workshop, party, or use them as you need them when you need them. The possibilities for organization, ease of use, and spontaneity are endless.
The Geckskin Organization System features GRIPHOOK™ mechanical adhesives for hanging items on walls and similar surfaces, GRIPHANGER™ mechanical adhesives for near-invisible hanging of items on doors and similar structures, and GRIPLOOP™ mechanical adhesives for looping around cables, jewelry, and similar items and then affixing them to walls or other surfaces.
Griphooks can be applied to nearly any even, flat or curved surface and our current iteration can hold up to a pound of weight. Griphangers are intended to be used “over a corner” such as over a door or the edge of a table and hold up to five pounds of weight. Griploops have two ends: one is used to permanently size a loop for objects to be inserted into, and the other end features a Geckskin pad which can be applied and reapplied to a wall or other surface, hanging up to .25 (one quarter) pound weight.
How Does Geckskin Work?
Named one of the top Science breakthroughs of 2012 by CNN Money, Geckskin technology is not a new, magic type of glue or tape, but rather a pairing of structured materials and biologically-informed physical design. Vastly different from traditional tapes, adhesives, fasteners, and hooks, Geckskin is a bio-mimetic technology. A gecko has two unique features that enable it to effortlessly grip and peel away from surfaces as they climb walls and ceilings: toe pads covered with tiny hairs called setae and a stiff tendon that connects skin to their skeletal structure. Geckskin technology pairs a soft elastomer pad constructed to mimic the of Gecko feet with a synthetic tendon to distribute the weight of the load, similar to when a gecko climbs a wall or ceiling. Unlike traditional tapes, adhesives, fasteners, and hooks, the end result is an adhesive device that is powerful, easily removed, and leaves no residue.
Nails and similar fasteners leave holes in walls. Typical adhesives adhere to surfaces via viscoelasticity and glue-assisted tack that can quickly lose adhesion and damage surfaces upon removal. Geckskin operates differently using draping adhesion, a low-tack process where stiff materials conform and adhere to a surface while maintaining a stiff, but elastic structure in key load-bearing and distributing areas. This design allows Geckskin devices to efficiently hold weight and easily peel off walls after prolonged use.
Geckskin pads can be re-applied to multiple surfaces but may pick up particulate from some surfaces materials. Simply clean off the adhesive pad with soap and water, rubbing alcohol, or rubbing alcohol wipes, and your Geckskin device can then be reapplied somewhere else.
Inspiration and Design History
In addition to the honor bestowed by CNN Money, Geckskin technology was named a top textile invention of 2013-2014 by the FabricLink Network, and the technology has been featured on Stephen Hawking's Brave New World, on the Discovery Channel, BBC, the Science Channel, Nature Knows Best, and on NPR radio. Additionally, it has appeared in articles in CNET, WIRED Magazine, The Guardian, National Geographic, and Popular Mechanics, among other media outlets.
Geckskin technology was originally developed at UMASS Amherst. Polymer scientist Professor Alfred Crosby and his research group, while working as part of a DARPA-funded project, developed a mathematical theory that not only guided their creation of Geckskin technology but also provided new insight into how geckos– the largest animal to be able to stick to walls– generate their amazing grip and peel capabilities. Teaming up with biologist / gecko expert Professor Duncan Irschick, Crosby and his group showed that geckos gain their super-adhesive and load-bearing abilities not only from the tiny hairs on the pads of their feet but through their unique mechanical structure: geckos distribute their weight through a stiff tendon that connects their skin to the animal’s skeletal structure. This enabling feature of the gecko is at the heart of Geckskin’s design and unique adhesive qualities.
After the conclusion of their research, professors Irschick and Crosby co-founded Felsuma LLC in 2013 with CEO Rana Gupta to further the commercial development of Geckskin, licensing the technology from UMASS. Under intense product development, testing, and further research since then at Felsuma, Geckskin devices are now ready for commercial manufacturing and mainstream applications.
Prior Geckskin devices have been created entirely by hand in the Felsuma lab in Nashua, New Hampshire. By funding this Kickstarter, backers will help bring these devices to the world for the first time via a full production run at a local New England manufacturer.
Why We Need Your Help
By funding this Kickstarter, backers will help bring Geckskin to the world at large for the first time. Prior Geckskin devices and prototypes have been created entirely by hand in the Felsuma lab in Nashua, New Hampshire. Commercial manufacturing requires high minimums to make production affordable and workable. Backers’ funding of this project will allow us to engage in a full commercial manufacturing run at a local factory here in New England.
Working with our manufacturing consultant, Jerry Serra, we have sourced a selection of well established manufacturers and a trusted distribution and mail-order partner to help us produce this first commercial run of products.
Join us in helping Geckskin take its first steps!
MAY & JUNE 2018: Planning and Promotion
JUNE & JULY 2018: Kickstarter Campaign
AUGUST & SEPTEMBER 2018: Production & Fulfillment Begins
We are Felsuma, a materials research and design company based in Somerville, MA with a lab in Nashua, New Hampshire, named after a genus of gecko, and dedicated to pursuing the real-world applications and promise of Geckskin.
Alfred Crosby, PhD, is a professor in the Polymer Science & Engineering department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an expert in bio-inspired materials science and engineering, a co-founder of Felsuma, and the leader of the research group that theorized and developed Geckskin technology.
Duncan Irschick, PhD, is an integrative biologist and innovator interested in the evolution and ecology of animal athletics, Biology Department faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a co-founder of Felsuma, and contributor to the development of Geckskin technology.
Rana Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Felsuma, is passionate about creative new technology development. For the last 17 years, Rana has been a CEO and investor. He is also Lecturer at BU’s Questrom School of Business.
John Farrell is a chief product development scientist at Felsuma, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Materials Science and Engineering program, and an experienced product development engineer.
Jerry Serra, PhD, is Felsuma’s manufacturing and production consultant and has over 30 years of high-level experience in the plastics and tape industries.
Steven Zidek is a product development chemist at Worthen Industries and has worked with the Felsuma team from the very beginning. A graduate of Keene State College, he has over 24 years of experience in adhesives and coatings R&D.
Newly Added: The One Griphook Package and the Geckskin Home Package.
Risks and challenges
Production & Supply Chain
This Kickstarter will allow us to engage in our first commercial manufacturing run. All Geckskin technology devices so far have been successfully made by hand within our laboratory.
We understand that there are risks and challenges involved in any production process and will work hard to minimize any delays and to keep our backers updated.
We have already sourced a selection of well established and successful manufacturers to help us produce this commercial run of products and will decide on the best and most appropriate vendor from our final shortlist prior to the conclusion of the Kickstarter. The only possible delays we anticipate in production might be due to our small production run size, as commercial manufacturers primarily service large corporations and do not prioritize small runs as highly. The bigger the production run that this Kickstarter can help us to engage in, the quicker the production process will go.
We have been working on and producing Geckskin devices for several years as part of our research process and while unexpected delays can and may happen, we have a high degree of confidence that our production process will begin and conclude quickly and efficiently.
Fulfillment & Delivery
We have experience with self-fulfillment. For this Kickstarter campaign and for future sales, we have retained the services of a friendly partner company experienced in mass shipping and fulfillment who we will outsource logistics and shipping to. Although we must allow that delays can happen in any process, once physical production has concluded, we do not anticipate any significant delays in shipping and fulfillment.
Geckskin devices have undergone scientific weight testing in our lab and have been continually improved over a several year testing process.
We test and inspect all products before releasing them to market in order to perfect the quality of the products and to ensure they are made well.
These Geckskin technology devices have been rigorously tested and the maximum recommended weights to be placed on each are:
Griphhook: One pound / .5 KG
Griphanger: Five pounds / 2.25 KG
Griploop: ¼ pound / .11 KG
We highly recommend you do not exceed these tested weight limits, that you please follow proper installation instructions, and are careful about your choice of surface to apply to and what you hang from the devices. Gravity is relentless, so care should be taken hanging and maintaining any devices. Our products’ performance is a collaborative function of the product’s design and the user’s proper application, where application includes pressing the device thoroughly onto a surface and making sure both the device and the surface are clean and a bond is properly created.
Geckskin products are reusable. Adhesive pads or areas will occasionally pick up debris from the surfaces they are applied to: simply clean the pad or adhesive area with soap and water, rubbing alcohol, or rubbing alcohol wipes, and their adhesion should return. Please note that while our products are reusable, they are not infinitely so, and will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. This timeline for replacement largely depends on the nature of the usage, as well as the presence of dirt or other impediments for adhesion. If our products are used as directed, they perform better than any other we have found on the market.
Every bit helps! You are excited by GECKSKIN® design technology, and you want to be part of the journey, but you aren’t ready to purchase products just yet. We’ll keep you in the loop with Kickstarter project updates and add you to our Geckskin supporter mailing list to share news and product developments after the Kickstarter launch completes– and we’ll give you a huge thank you for your support of Geckskin!
This is a limited-quantity reward for our earliest supporters who are excited about GECKSKIN® design technology, want to get started using Geckskin devices, and want to spread the word about the concept and technology. This package includes the Geckskin Organization System, discounted $10 from the standard Kickstarter backing price, and free US shipping.
The reward package for when you’re excited to dip your toes into GECKSKIN® technology and to get started Gripping and Peeling at your home, office, party or anywhere else. Includes a set of Geckskin products and free US shipping.
This is the core GECKSKIN® Kickstarter package and includes everything you need to organize and fasten items to nearly every surface at your home, office, party, or anywhere else. Includes a set of core Geckskin products and free US shipping.
Many educators contact us for materials to demonstrate GECKSKIN® technology for STEM, physics, chemistry, and biomimetics lessons. This package includes several core Geckskin devices, two teaching devices to use to demonstrate the physics of Geckskin technology with classes and students as well as Geckskin's inspiration from the gecko’s anatomy, as well as an educator’s guide that explains the elements and physics of the Geckskin technology and is designed to help teachers with their lessons and instruction. Also includes free US shipping.
Designed for experimenters and inventors, this reward package includes the GECKSKIN® Enthusiast Package and adds a selection of distinct experimental items designed for different uses. Includes free US shipping.
Excited about GECKSKIN® technology and want more devices, but don't need to load up with the wholesale package? The Geckskin Home Package includes everything you need to outfit your home or office with Geckskin technology. Includes ten GRIPHOOK™, ten GRIPHANGER™, and twenty GRIPLOOP™ devices, a cleaning cloth, and free US shipping.
Have dinner with GECKSKIN® founders and creators in or around Boston, MA to discuss Geckskin technology and its applications. Does not include transport costs to the Boston area. Also includes the Geckskin scientist package and free US shipping.
We’ll mail you three (3) experimental, freshly developed GECKSKIN® devices right off the lab bench every three months for a year (four total mailings, for 12 total items) as we continue to develop Geckskin technology. We’ll solicit your feedback, ideas, and experiences via email as you aid us in our research. Also includes the standard Geckskin Organization System core reward package, free US shipping, and a place on our exclusive email list for Geckskin experimenters and technologists.