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 ")

ibotn Toddler-Care Mini-Robot
'She's not like a machine. She's like a person. A living person.' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

Writhing Robotic Tentacle Uses Laser To Chop Nuke Hardware
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles... swinging and rattling about its strange body.' - HG Wells, 1898.

Moley Kitchen Robot Ready By 2018
'...the electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.' - Elizabeth Bellamy, 1899.

PLEN2 DIY Robot Cleaner Steals Your Heart
'I developed it to clean floors...' - Robert Heinlein, 1956.

 

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

ibotn Toddler-Care Mini-Robot
'She's not like a machine. She's like a person. A living person.'

Nuclear Batteries Based On Diamonds Last Millennia
'they just package it and ship it around to wherever people want it...'

Eighth Sense Emotion-Responsive Cloak
'This sensitivity to mood explains the real popularity of bio-fabrics...'

British Airways To Offer An Ingestible Sensor To Passengers
The modern way to get feedback from passengers.

Unique DNA To Foil Parts Counterfeiters
'... the only molecule, a unique protein amino acid, which could not be duplicated.'

MIT Researchers Predict The Future From Still Photos
'What I have in this camera is not a record of what you did just now but what will go on here in the next half hour...'

Mini Robot Uses 2 mm Surgical Tools
'... surgical tool - blades, tweezers, probes - so fine you could just see them with the naked eye.'

Childhood Dreams Of Space Realized! Space Junk Problem Solved!
'Give the noble daydreams a rest, you preachy rookie. Astronauts are wage slaves like everyone else!'

Writhing Robotic Tentacle Uses Laser To Chop Nuke Hardware
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles... swinging and rattling about its strange body.'

LBNP Device Not Quite 'Artificial Gravity'
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses..'

China's XPNAV 1 To Use X-Ray Pulsars For Navigation
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

Artificial Muscle Material Is Self-Healing, Super Stretchy
Battletech!

Google Zero-Shot Translation Gives Star Trek Fans Hope
"This is your opponent!"

Moley Kitchen Robot Ready By 2018
'...the electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

Tricking Cells Into Making Silicon Chips
'Fabricated by genetically engineered metal affinity bacteria...'

AI Lip Reading Better Than Human, Like HAL 9000
Nothing to worry about, until computers control most vital systems.

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.