A snake-like robot is being developed to aid medics in the rapid diagnosis and treatment of injured soldiers, from Technology Review:
Choset and his students have engineered a highly articulated robotic arm that consists of multiple actuated joints, which give the robot a snakelike flexibility. Each joint has two degrees of freedom that, working together, allow the robot to flex, retract, and twist into different configurations, much like a live snake.
As ever snakebots+military immediately put me in mind of Alastair Reynold’s excellent Century Rain.
[via Slashdot][image from Technology Review]
Bad tidings for drain-blockages and nervous defecators alike with the news that Norwegian scientists are developing a robotic snake (yet more biomimetics!) to navigate and clean complex pipe-systems:
The 1.5-meter long robots, which are made of aluminium, are being designed to inspect and clean complicated industrial pipe systems that are typically narrow and inaccessible to humans. The intelligent robots have multiple joints to enable them to twist vertically and climb up through pipe systems to locate leaks in water systems, inspect oil and gas pipelines and clean ventilation systems.
It seems snakes are a versatile form for robots, with applications for robot snakes in space exploration, military espionage, and surgical tools.
[story from PC World via Slashdot]