Robotic Snake Inspects Nuclear Plant

A robotic snake developed at Carnegie Mellon university has been used to inspect the Zentendorf nuclear power plant. Its snakelike characteristics were tested to the max by a thorough inspection of the nuclear plant's steam pipes and connecting vessels.


()

The robotic snake proved it was able to maneuver through multiple bends, slip through open valves and negotiate vessels with multiple openings...

"Our robot can go places people can't, particularly in areas of power plants that are radioactively contaminated," said Howie Choset , a robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon. "It can go up and around multiple bends, something you can't do with a conventional borescope, a flexible tube that can only be pushed through a pipe like a wet noodle."

The robot, which also has been tested in search-and-rescue environments, is made up of 16 modules, each with two half-joints that connect with corresponding half-joints on adjoining modules. It also has 16 degrees of freedom, enabling it to assume a number of configurations and to move using a variety of gaits.

The robot has a video camera and LED light attached to its head, giving its controllers an image of what it's approaching. The university explained that even though the robotic snake is twisting, turning and rotating as it moves through pipes and over obstacles, the image remains steady because it's automatically corrected to be aligned with gravity.

Science fiction fans may recall the robot snake spy from Greg Bear's 2009 novel Mariposa:

The coil on the table appeared to be a snake - tan and brown with black specks and a spade-shaped head. It did not look alive and it did not look dead. ...He reached down and partially uncoiled the snake, then squeezed its middle. A small hatch popped open, giving a glimpse of gleaming steel ribs and wires.

Earlier snake-like sf robots include the mining worm robot from Love Among the Robots (1946) by Emmett McDowell and the mechanical cobra from Lord of Light (1967) by Roger Zelazny.

However, given the duct inspection duties of Carnegie Mellon's robotic snake, I'm wondering if readers aren't thinking about the Sentinel duct inspector robots in the Matrix movies.


(Duct-diving robot Sentinels from The Matrix)

Via Computerworld.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/17/2013)

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 ")

Nonhuman Artist Collective Keeps Robot Artist Earnings Until Legal
The artists should be paid for their work, don't you think?

Atlas DRC Robot Now Untethered
Free walking robots are here! Maybe sooner than you thought.

Button-Pushing Robots Have Taken Our Jobs, Thankfully
'The ten forked ends of each arm commenced a rattling pressing of the buttons.'- Schachner and Zagat, 1931.

Small Molecule Walker Takes First Steps
'The bits were in motion.'-- Philip K. Dick, 1955.

 

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

3D Printer 'Teleports' Objects Like Simak's Way Stations
'An entirely new being but exactly like the old one'

Laser Etching Makes Metal Super-Hydrophobic
'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension.'

Patient Walks Out With Fully Artificial Heart
'The throb of the robot pump gave him confidence...'

Radisens' Gemini Instant Blood Tests
An amazing lab-on-a-panel.

Nonhuman Artist Collective Keeps Robot Artist Earnings Until Legal
Pay the artists!

Argentine Orangutan Receives Basic Human Rights
'They wouldn't dare let the Fuzzies be proven sapient...'

Elon Musk, Google To Extend Internet Into Earth Orbit, Then Mars
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

Range R Lets Police See Into Your House
There are lots of ways to see through walls!

Thync Mood Alteration Like PKD's Mood Organ
'I sat down at my mood organ and I experimented...'

Atlas DRC Robot Now Untethered
Would a robot walking toward you make you feel afraid?

VirtualGreen Putting Simulator Like Brin's Needle-Gym
'My eyes saw a tiny, off-white chamber, its coarse floor of needles mimicking a steep hillside...'

VW Golf R Touch With Gesture Control
'All you had to do was wave your hand...'

The Bioengineered Uterus
Will it ever exist?

3Doodler 2.0 Create A 3D Object With A Pen
'Plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens as it comes.'

Cambrian Genetics Says 'Print Your Own Genetically Unique Creature'
'The study of Nature makes a man at last as remorseless as Nature.'

Meet 'Ross', Your Watson-Based Legal Researcher
'Why don't we just feed the bloody thing to LEX and ask for a summary?'

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.