A climbing robot needs to use its adhesive patches over and over again as it scales a slope. Replacing the adhesive at each step is generally impractical. If the adhesive or attachment mechanism cannot be used repeatedly, then the robot must carry an extra load of this adhesive to apply a fresh layer with each move. Common failure modes include tearing, contamination by dirt, plastic deformation of fibers, and damage from loading/unloading. A gecko-like fibrillar adhesive has been developed that has been shown useful for climbing robots, and may later prove useful for grasping, anchoring, and medical applications.