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)
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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Robot Surgeons No Better Than Humans
"Take care, sir. (2-1B medical droid)" - George Lucas, 1980.
K5 Autonomous Data Machine The Future Of Mall Security
''Halt!' A robot guard appeared…'- Philip K. Dick, 1955.
Aldebaran Robot Talks Like C3PO - Almost
That's a lot of languages - but there's room in our imagination for more.
WildCat Runs Faster Than You, Untethered
'...moving with such drifting ease that it was like a single solid cloud of black-grey smoke blown at him in silence.' Ray Bradbury, 1953.
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.
Can Gut Bacteria Make You Smarter?
'Vergil had trained the lymphocytes in the past six months to interact as much as possible with each other and with their environment...'
Shimuzu Luna Ring Solar Power Project
'This was really free power... Power carried across millions of miles on Addison's tight-beam principle.'
AllSee Low Power Gesture Recognition
'It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course...'
Must Breaking Up Be Hard To Do?
'Whoever was placed inside the apparatus instantaneously experienced all the charms, lures, wiles, winks and witchery of all the fairer sex in the Universe at once.'
PillCam Colon Now Approved By FDA
'You're going to take a picture of my insides?'
RYNO To Heinlein - Your Tumblebug Is Ready!
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'
3D Printing Your Winter Reality
'It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells...'
Roboroach Now Shipping!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'
MeCam Selfie Nano Drone Like Karen Traviss' Bee Cam
'He set his camera to follow him, and it hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'
AeroLife Inhalable Food Powder
'Now shall the brutal murdering of fellow animals and brother vegetables forever stop...'
Harvest-Time On The International Space Station
We will come rejoicing.
Pop Secret Pop Dongle Lets You Smell The Corn A Poppin' On Your Smartphone
'The joymaker in his hand hissed and sprayed him with something...'
Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman Taken Off Life Support
As described by Frank Herbert.
'Smart Silk' In Quantity
'Strongest stuff in the world, stronger than the best steel. Synthetic spider silk...'
Motorcycle Racing Suit With Airbags
'She jerks the manual release on her cervical collar and goes into full Michelin Man mode...'
Lapel Cameras For LAPD Officers
'Every move they made, were being transmitted to their home unit...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories