FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"Snakebot" Can Conquer Most Any Terrain

The mobile robotics lab at the University of Michigan has developed a snake-like robot that can maneuver around almost any type of terrain, including stairs, pipes and wide gaps. Such a robot would offer very clear benefits in emergency search and rescue, industrial inspection, military applications and space exploration.

The OmniTread Serpentine Robot has treads that cover virtually all of its long, flexible body. The robot has multiple sections that are connected with bellowed joints that can adjust and act as a steering mechanism. The current version of the robot requires an external power source, though a self-powered version is under development.

View a video clip of the OmniTread in action (Windows Media Player required).

Source: PhysOrg