A releasable fastening system comprises a loop portion comprising a loop material, a hook portion comprising a plurality of hook elements, and an actuation device disposed in electrical communication with the loop portion and the hook portion. The actuation device is operable to provide electrostatic charges to the loop material and the hook elements. A method of operating a releasable fastening system comprises contacting a loop portion to a hook portion to form a releasable engagement wherein the loop portion comprises a first electrically conductive sheet and a loop material disposed at the first electrically conductive sheet and wherein the hook portion comprises a second electrically conductive sheet and a hook element disposed at the second electrically conductive sheet, maintaining constant shear and pull forces between the loop and hook portions, and introducing electrostatic charges of opposite polarities to the loop and hook portions to enhance the engagement of the hook and loop portions and of similar polarities to weaken the engagement of the hook and loop portions.
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