Snake Robot Roundup!

The snake robots are coming; slithering, grinding, undulating robots that crawl on their bellies like reptiles across the Earth (and maybe other planets):

R7[1] - early robotic snake

A very early robotic snake called R7[1] was built at Hughes Aircraft and tested in May of 1987. The motors were remote from the axes being driven; power is transmitted to the joints via low force/high velocity cables. Each joint has an 11:1 reduction drive. Note that this is not a free-moving snakebot; it is more like an elephant's trunk (being attached to a controller at one end).


(From Hughes Robot Snake)

See the R7[1] Snake robot for more photos and information.

Ames Gen 2 Snake robot heads for Mars?


(From NASA Ames Gen 2)

NASA developed the Ames Generation 2 experimental robotic snake in 2000 to help explore other worlds. This snakebot is able to independently dig in loose extraterrestrial soil and plan routes over or around obstacles. It could be ready in as little as five years, according to NASA engineers.

"The key part of what we are striving for in the second snakebot version and beyond is sensor-based control in which the robot uses its sensors to decide what to do,’" Gary Haith, lead "snakebot" engineer, said. "We made two little microcontrollers, tiny computers, that we put in each hinged section that also includes a motor, electronics and gears to get the hinge to move to certain positions," he explained.

It is hoped that the snake robot can save spacecraft weight; the snake-like design enables the robot to do many tasks without much extra equipment. "One of the many advantages of the snake-based design is that the robot is field-repairable. We can include a bunch of identical spare modules with the snake on a space mission, and then we can fix the snakebot much easier than a regular robot that needs specific parts," said Haith. "Other benefits are: the snakebot can crawl off a spacecraft lander and doesn’t need a ramp, the snake's moving parts can be sealed inside artificial skin to avoid exposure to the outside environment and the robot can still function, even if one joint freezes."

British 'Serpentine Spy' wriggles with shape-memory alloy

This prototype military reconnaissance robot was designed in 2003 to be dropped from a helicopter, and then creep around the battlefield, spying on the enemy. In theory, it would be less obvious than any kind of wheeled vehicle.


(From Self-Healing Snake robot)

It was also designed to be self-repairing. If any of its segments become damaged, the software works to "evolve" a way to continue its mission. It also has a shape-changing antenna to broadcast audio and video.

Each segment has three individual "muscles" made ofa shape-memory alloy called nitinol running down its length. When a current is applied to particular wires, the crystal structure of nitinol shrinks, shortening those wires. When the current is removed, the wires snap back into shape, wriggling the snakebot forward.

Read more about it at Self-healing snake robot.

Go to Snake Robot Roundup: Part Two.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/23/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot
We can always make it limp along if it gets threatening.

Autonomous Concrete Floor Finishing Robot
Keep those construction site robots coming.

effie Automated Ironing Appliance
'Household Automata received an urgent task to develop production units of бытовые тканевые разглаживk

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.'

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...'

Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
'...a shirt that displayed email on its sleeve.

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...'

PRIMA Bionic Vision Restoration
'The VISOR... was a medical device used in the Federation to aid patients who have suffered loss of eyesight...'

Audi Traffic Jam Pilot Knows If You're Sleeping
'Even here, riding a garbage truck to eternity, the machine watched him...'

UM Hall Thruster Breaks Records
Someday, we'll see an ion drive used to get to Mars.

Ionity Ultra-fast Charging Station Network
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

VAuth Voice Security Wearable From University of Michigan
'Siri, I gave you a voice command...' 'Yes, but do I know you?'

Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
Why be choosy? Just upload your whole life to the Internet, and be done with it.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.