The New Breed of Rescue Snake Robots

Posted on May 12 2013 - 11:30am by Robert

Any new technology to help locate and help people who have been trapped in collapsed buildings has got to be a good thing. If the technology comes in the form of a cool snake then so much the better.

Investigators in the US have working on a robot which is built like a snake and which could come in very useful in future search and rescue missions.

Dogs and Snakes Working in Harmony

The most recent trial they have carried out was done with the help of rescue dogs. The canine workers carried the snake robot into a mock up of a collapsed building on a special harness. They then released the snake and it went about its business.

The idea is that a robot like this can wriggle into little spaces where dogs and people simply can’t enter. At the moment the researchers at the biorobotics lab in Carnegie Mellon University are working to find a way to get their creation to get over rubble and debris faster than it does just now.

The creatures are described as modular snake robots and they move by changing the position of the links that join their body together. Scientists have been working on these modelssnake for a decade and the phrase used for their type of movement is “lateral undulation”, which is how real life snakes get around.

The entire search and rescue process using dogs and snakes is pretty interesting. The dogs are taught to bark once they find something which needs investigating. At this point the robot snakes are released and they start to send back live video images to the people operating it.

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