Modular Snake Robots

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Created by Howie Choset and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University, Modular Snake Robots are proving to be a big up and comer in the world of robotics. Consisting of 16 joined modular segments connected via hinge joints, these snakes are capable of a variety of natural movements such as climbing, rolling, and even swimming.

According to Choset’s webpage, the robots are capable of the following gaits:

LINEAR PROGRESSION

SIDEWINDING

CORKSCREWING

ROLLING

SWIMMING

CHANNEL CLIMBING

PIPE/TUBE CLIMBING

POLE CLIMBING

CORNERING

PIPE ROLLING

Many of these movements have been adapted from the ways in which actual snakes move, making modular snake robots a prime example of biomimicry.

Due to its ability to perform various “gaits,” these snake robots are able to traverse terrain that other robots may not be capable of. As such, Choset and his associates hope to eventually put them to use for cave rescue missions and possibly even on Mars. This is indeed a societal win, and could potentially save many lives in the future.

 

Sources:

http://biorobotics.ri.cmu.edu/projects/modsnake/gaits.html

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/4285289

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