HyDRAS-Ascent Pole-Climbing Snake Robot Construction Inspector

This pole-climbing snake robot is a three-foot-long device created by Dennis Hong of Virginia Tech's Robotics and Mechanisms Lab. It's full name is HyDRAS-Ascent (Hyper-redundant Discrete Robotic Articulated Serpentine) robot.

(Pole climbing snake robot)

“Unlike inchworm type gaits often being developed for serpentine robot locomotion, this novel climbing gait requires the serpentine robot to wrap around the structure in a helical shape, and twist its whole body to climb or descend by rolling up or down the structure,” said Hong.

It is designed to climb up scaffolding, pillars and other similar construction-related equipment to get a clear view - so people don't have to. It propels itself upward using "oscillating joint motion."

The HyDRAS robot won the top prize in the recent 2008 International Symposium on Educational Excellence in Korea, bringing in one million won (about$1,000).

As far as science-fictional predecessors are concerned, I was reminded of the robotic mining worm from Love Among the Robots, a 1946 short story by Emmett McDowell.

If you enjoy snake robots, take a look at my Snake Robot Roundup and don't miss Robot Snakes In Pipes Matrix Sentinel-Style.

From The Register.

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