Robotic snake to help people.
Last month, Medrobotics , a corporation affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University, announced it would begin selling snake surgeon robots in Europe. These “snakes”, entering the patient’s body through the throat , can help doctors to get into hard-to-reach places of the human body without incisions, which will reduce the patient’s recovery time after surgery.
But this is far from the only use of robotic snakes that can swim, slide, crawl and climb like real ones. Over the past few years, researchers in laboratories around the world have come up with new innovative ways to use these cool, but scary robots.
Who made the first robotic snake?
Howie Choset, a professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon , is credited with being the father of a robotic snake. He founded a company that makes surgical snake robots. Last year at the Huffington Post, he said he was afraid of snakes, but he notes that his snake robot is "kind and benevolent."
How do snake robots move?
According to the Carnegie Mellon Biorobotics Lab , there are at least 10 basic “gait” robo-snakes. Researchers say that they are able to imitate all the “biological walks” that have real snakes, and in some cases, develop those that “go beyond the biological abilities of snakes.”
Here is a video where a snake rises along a vertical pipe:
Wait, robotic snakes can swim ?! How?
Robo-snakes can be afloat, as they are covered with waterproof skin . They glide over the surface of the water using wireless control. Some snakes can swim completely underwater at a depth of 60 meters . And this is unbelievable!
Here is an example of an underwater robotic snake developed in Tokyo HiBot :
Where robotic snakes can be used
1. Search and rescue
Search and rescue dogs are vital in finding survivors of disasters such as a building collapse or an earthquake. But there are places that rescue dogs cannot get into. This is where a search and rescue snake robot developed by Kanegi Mellon of Biorobotics Lab and Ryerson University's Network-Centric Applied Research Team can help . They came up with a method called "Canine Assisted Robot Deployment", the essence of which is that when the dog approached the victim, who was stuck somewhere under the concrete blocks, from the special vest that is dressed on the dog, a robotic snake crawls out , which penetrates through small cracks to locate the victim, providing lifeguards with streaming video.
2. Purification of oceans and lakes.
A staff member at the Taiwan Institute of Technology suggested a way to use kite robots to get rid of harmful metals in water bodies . The snake itself contains special bacteria that destroy toxic substances, so when the snake passes water through itself, the outlet becomes clean. This idea is at an early stage of development, but researchers say that these snake robots can be used to clean lakes, rivers and oceans already in 2020.
The Israel Defense Forces (ISO) were the first to develop a snake robot back in 2009. The robot can be used to inspect buildings, sewer systems, and other structures during a city war . According to ISO, a robotic snake is used to monitor activity in a building and to lay explosives. The U.S. Army also worked on the development of robotic snakes .
4. NPP inspection
Last year, a robotic snake was used to study a nuclear power plant in Austria. Researchers hope that robots will be able to find radioactive parts of the nuclear power plant and storage facilities that may not be safe for humans. Their robots can inspect and make high-quality shots of "dry containers for storing waste, tanks and pipelines in a nuclear power plant." Hitachi Ltd. and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd. also developed a robotic snake this year to explore one of Fukushima's nuclear power plants.
5. Heart surgery
6. Exploration of Mars
Researchers in Norway are developing a robot snake that can move on Mars and work with the rover to collect samples. Researchers Pål Liljebäck and Aksel Transeth told Discovery News last year that "the Spirit rover was lost after being stuck in the sand." snake robots can avoid such traps.