I’ve jumped from buses, somersaulted from airplanes, run from explosions, and been thrown through walls, but today for TBS Superstation’s new reality series Worst Case Scenario, I find myself in a rather unique predicament: I’m vacuum-sealed to the 25th floor of a San Diego office building.
I owe my whereabouts to Gekkomat, a 55-pound contraption that allows users to climb walls like the lizard that inspired it. The device works by circulating pressurized air from a scuba-like tank through suction pads on each hand and foot. The pads stick to the wall snugly, but can be freed with a slight upward pull. The resulting vacuum can support 550 pounds on each pad-that’s enough to hold a small car.
Unlike other suction climbers, which work only on perfectly smooth surfaces, Gekkomat adheres to everything from glass to concrete. German inventor Gerald Winkler envisions the device being used by emergency workers during high-rise rescues. But after climbing 25 stories, I say it makes a great alternative to an evening stroll.
Watch Danielle (aka Gear Girl) put Gekkomat to the test July 24 on Worst Case Scenario, a TBS Superstation original.