Snake Robots: Can You Watch This Without Squirming?

Are you, like many, afraid of snakes? What about robots? What about snake robots?

Image: Snake Robots

How about we put that in an innovative light? Today we Ever Widening Circles brings you the story of robots with the advantages of a snakes.

Now here’s an idea that is truly “outside the box!” This innovation, which uses nature for inspiration, is just one incredible example of biomimicry; a growing field of science at the intersection of engineering, design, and biology.

First, a quick look at where we are going today…

 

Via:cmurobotics 1

So let’s have a look at the backstory to see where this technology started:

Source: Live Science

Ok, now we are on some firm footing, let’s get to the potential here.

After we get over the impulse to recoil from how snake-like it is, you will see that the snake robot has some incredible abilities and applications, about which we will soon learn more. But first, let’s take a look at the possibilities for underwater applications:

What is the potential for the snake robot?

Consider the many dirty jobs that, performed by humans, endanger lives, or jobs that require access to small spaces, spaces that even conventional robots, with limbs or wheels, could never access.   Consider the possibility for assisting in minimally-invasive surgery, for inspection of power plants, for aiding in search and rescue efforts, in archaeological digs.

When one considers the many fields of work and disciplines of study in which we humans are engaged, and the number of associated problems we are trying to solve, it becomes clear that the snake robot has a lot of potential indeed!

We found a short video from a conference that explores the reaches of the snake robot’s potential. Let’s take a little trip into the future of this extraordinary technology, with a video courtesy of the Huffington Post:

 

If you’d like to read more about the snake robot story, here’s a link to a darn good article by Fox News called Snake Robots: Slithering machines could aid search and rescue efforts. 

Snake robots aren’t just interesting creepy crawlies, they offer us a chance to explore our world and enhance our experience.

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