Robot snake automatically wraps around an object when thrown (w/ Video)

Mar 22, 2013 by Bob Yirka report
Robot snake automatically wraps around an object when thrown (w/ Video)
Credit: Biorobotics Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University

(Phys.org) —Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Biorobotics laboratory have adapted one of their robotic snakes to cause it to automatically wrap itself around an object after being thrown. Upon impact, the snake immediately wraps its body around the target—in the test cases, a light pole and tree branch, and holds on, supporting itself.

Robot snakes have been developed in recent years to mimic the actions of their real life counterparts. Scientists believe their leg and feet-free mode of locomotion might be ideal for use in hard to reach places, such as buildings that have been knocked down by an earthquake. Thus far, researchers have developed such snakes that are able to travel over terrain in ways very similar to a real , and even to climb up objects such as a person's arm. Now, in this new effort, the researchers have extended the capability of a robot snake to include wrapping and holding on to an object when thrown at it.

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The researchers were able to give the snake such an ability by making use of embedded in its body. It's able to detect the sudden stop that occurs when it strikes an object—after that, it was simply a matter of taking advantage of programming that had already been done by the team to get it to wrap itself around the object that it had struck. The team at CMU is engaged in research involving robot snakes as part of an overall initiative to develop robots that can be used in medical applications, to help manufacture things, as part of archeology efforts, and perhaps most specifically to assist with search and .

It's important to note that there is a difference between wrapping and constricting—this snake does the former, but not the latter—it doesn't squeeze the target, it simply wraps itself around it to allow it to hold on. Though, it's not beyond the pale to consider that constricting could also be added to the snakes' abilities, especially when noting that the U.S. Army Research Lab is paying for the research. The researchers on the project don't divulge what sort of objectives the Army may have in mind for the snakes and thus any theories on their use (such as, as a weapon) at this time would be purely speculative.

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User comments : 15

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Expiorer
2 / 5 (5) Mar 22, 2013
the video looks like compilation where guys shoot basketballs from unreal distances. I don`t believe it is done with every throw.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (3) Mar 22, 2013
America's Fatherland Security Department will find this useful for spying on suspicious citizens.
Oxensraiser?
5 / 5 (1) Mar 22, 2013
Gaaahh!!! Robot snakes that wrap around you when thrown. ROBOT SNAKES THAT WRAP AROUND YOU WHEN THROWN. My skin wants to jump off and run away.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.4 / 5 (7) Mar 22, 2013
America's Fatherland Security Department will find this useful for spying on suspicious citizens.
You could use it to catch canadians by throwing it at their necks. Like bolos in argentina only higher tech.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (3) Mar 22, 2013
This will probably see service as a grappling hook, by Navy Seals for example, for scaling vertical obstructions.
VendicarE
not rated yet Mar 22, 2013
What would Otto like to catch Canadians doing?

"You could use it to catch canadians" - Otto

Money Grubbing isn't such a high priority in the Socialist States.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (8) Mar 22, 2013
What would Otto like to catch Canadians doing?
Well tying women to railroad tracks for one.
http://www.youtub...Jqd2h0Yg

-And cussing and bad accents also.
http://www.youtub...38552MJA

-And fighting with our brothers the mexicans.
http://www.youtub...LdoWPyPk
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (8) Mar 22, 2013
Also just general uncouth behavior ey?
http://www.youtub...hrrBdLYc
VendicarE
5 / 5 (2) Mar 22, 2013
Otto has Cartoons.

http://www.youtub...OzOea6og

We are legion.
gwrede
1.5 / 5 (6) Mar 22, 2013
The researchers on the project don't divulge what sort of objectives the Army may have in mind for the snakes and thus any theories on their use (such as, as a weapon) at this time would be purely speculative.
Now what possible use could an army have for a snake? (This was a rhetorical question, no need for an answer.)

And yes, VenditarD's youtube clip does have a point. Too many Americans live in an imaginary world where the only truly Free nation is the US. Actually, the word Free is becoming as true as the word Democratic in "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea".
HealingMindN
1 / 5 (3) Mar 22, 2013
What kind of gripping power would a hydraulic snake have? Only Gitmo Bay Prisoners will know...
dan42day
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 22, 2013
Can they put a frikkin laser on it's head?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 23, 2013
Sorry VD your link didn't work for me.
Too many Americans live in an imaginary world where the only truly Free nation is the US
True, Canada does have more immigrants per capita than the US but I think this is only because their heads are generally smaller than ours.
http://www.nation...r-capita

-Hey VD how does Canada treat it's indigene children?
http://narcospher...-schools
n1gg4plz
1 / 5 (4) Mar 24, 2013
"The team at CMU is engaged in research involving robot snakes as part of an overall initiative to develop robots that can be used in medical applications, to help manufacture things, as part of archeology efforts, and perhaps most specifically to assist with search and rescue operations"

To the lab team, I'd say, show some intelligence already. I'm so fed up with naive eggheads believing this crap about these sort of inventions being used to improve quality of life for the gen pop. If it's used to help anyone, it will be only those who can afford it. All others will see these robots developed into control/killing machines, as pointed out already by previous commenters.

Judgeking
4 / 5 (1) Mar 24, 2013
Thank you, this solves my grappling-hook release problem. It was getting expensive having to cut my lines every time. -Batman

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