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I’m really glad to be here once again updating our 318th post at VPFI!

Researchers Used Robotic Snakes to Search for Earthquake ...


Robots are useful for exploring and working in space. In particular, many robots have been sent to explore Mars. Such robots have usually looked like a box with wheels. Though these robots are useful, by their very nature they are unreliable, extremely expensive, and they break easily. Also, they cannot do very many tasks. Because of these problems, scientists havve been developing a new and unusual kind of robot. These new robots move like snakes, so they have been given the name “snakebots”.

The way a snake is shaped lets it get into very small spaces, like cracks in rocks. It can also push its way below the ground or climb up different kinds pf object, like high rocks and trees. Such abilities account for the usefulness of a robot designed like a snake. A snakebot would be able to do these things, too, making it much more effective than regular robots with wheels, which easily get stuck or fall over. Since they can carry tools, snakebots would be able to work in space, as well, tey could, for example, help repair the International Space Station.

But how can such a robot shape be made? A snakebot is built like a chain make of about thirty parts, or modules. Each module is basically the same in that they all have a small computer and a wheel to aid movement. The large computer is the “head” of the snake makes all of the modules in a snakebot work together.

The modular design of the snakebot has many advantages. If one module fails, another can be added easily. Snakebot modules can also carry different kinds of tools, as well as cameras. Since each module is actually a robot it itself, one module can work apart from the rest if necessary. That is, all the modules can separate annd move on their own, and then later, reconnect back into a larger robot. Researchers are also trying to develop snakebots made of a special kind of plastic that can change ots shape using eletricity, almost like animal muscles. Snakebots made with this plaastic will be very strong and hard to break.

Overall, the snakebot design is much simpler than of common robots. Thus, snakebots will be much less expensive to build. For example, a robot recently sent to Mars cost over a hundred million dollars, whereas snakebots can cost as little as a few hundred dollars. With their versatily and affordability, snakebots seem to be the wave of the future, at least as far space robots are concerned.


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