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 ")

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...' - Philip K Dick, 1953.

Robot Motion Planning 10K Times Faster
'The robot crab... fired a burst of light, then froze...' - William Gibson, 1984.

Festo's eMotionButterfly, AirJelly And AirPenguin Robots
... Bright beings darted through the hot light.' - Rudy Rucker, 1988.

Robot Animals Set To 'Spy in the Wild'
'[The electric sheep], sophisticated piece of hardware that it was, chomped away in simulated contentment...' - Philip K. Dick, 1968.

 

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

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...'

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...'

EU Debates Kill Switches For Robots
'I have a mechanism which our autofac on Mars builds as an... emergency safety...'

Scotland Set To Implement Basic Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Sales Robots More Persistent Than Humans
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing,,, shrilling...'

AI Identifies Suicidal Behavior With 93 Percent Accuracy
'...He padded into the living room, and seated himself by the suitcase; he opened it, clicked switches, and turned on Dr. Smile.'

Razer Project Valerie Laptop Unfurls
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently...'

Can Virtual Reality help People Cope With Pain?
Research is promising.

Dust Movement On The Moon, Saturn's Rings Solved
'...The dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'

Largest Micro-Drone Swarm Release Successful
'... Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Robot Motion Planning 10K Times Faster
'The robot crab... fired a burst of light, then froze...'

Reconfigured Graphene 10X Strong, 5 Percent Dense, As Steel
'...It was made of Alohydrolium, which is the lightest of all metals.'

Axiom - The World's First Private Space Station?
'So Webb Foster had built his space laboratory... It was a great crystal sphere, a thousand feet in diameter.'

DataTraveler Ultimate Generation 2 Terabyte Flashdrive
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary data spheres...'

HyperFace Aims To Foil Facial Recognition
'...A million and a half physiognomic fraction-representations of various people.'

MIT's aeroMorph Technology
'... It falls into that structure like a rubber figure returning to shape.'

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.