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Feb 19, 2020

Snake-inspired robot slithers and climbs over obstacles

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Engineers from Johns Hopkins have looked to how snakes move around to inform the design of a nimble new robot. It is hoped that the development could lead to search and rescue bots able to tackle all kinds of obstacles with ease.

“We look to these creepy creatures for movement inspiration because they’re already so adept at stably scaling obstacles in their day-to-day lives,” said senior author on the study, Chen Li. “Hopefully our robot can learn how to bob and weave across surfaces just like snakes.”

Observing how a variable kingsnake climbed up steps of varying height and having different surfaces, the researchers noted that the snake combined lateral undulation with cantilevering. When faced with a step, the reptile seemed to partition its body into three – the front and rear both moved back and forth while the middle section remained stiff.

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