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Slideshow: Robotic Snakes & Worms Get Under Your Skin

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apresher
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Robotic Snakes & Worms
apresher   2/5/2013 10:05:55 AM
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Ann,  Definitely a unique collection of designs, and they can definitely get under your skin if you're not a fan of snakes in general.  Thanks for the unique slideshow. 

Nancy Golden
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Fascinating
Nancy Golden   2/5/2013 12:21:02 PM
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That was a fascinating slideshow - I really like the idea of using robotic snakes for dangerous or hard to reach applications. I will need to show hubby Roboboa (slide 10). He is thinking about using a PIC microcontroller and designing a rattlesnake for one of our portable trail obstacles for horses, that rattles and moves when a horse approaches - Roboboa looks like a lot of fun with some cool possibilities. I would just make sure and introduce my horse to him from the ground first!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fascinating
Ann R. Thryft   2/5/2013 12:39:15 PM
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Sadly, Roboboa is listed as "retired" on the manufacturer's website. I can't imagine why--it looks like a great, fun toy. And yes, I'd think your horses would *not* appreciate meeting one, even after an introduction.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Fascinating
Nancy Golden   2/5/2013 12:49:33 PM
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I agree Ann - but if ever a horse had a sense of humor and the patience of a saint - fortunately my current gelding Pistol does, LOL. Too bad Roboboa is retired - it looks like he could serve to stir the imagination of youngsters towards robotics...

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fascinating
Ann R. Thryft   2/5/2013 1:16:44 PM
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Pistol sounds like--well, a pistol, and a very intelligent horse, too. I agree about Roboboa. The manufacturer does have other animal-inspired robot toys in that line.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fascinating
Ann R. Thryft   2/5/2013 1:17:02 PM
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Pistol sounds like--well, a pistol, and a very intelligent horse, too. I agree about Roboboa. The manufacturer does have other animal-inspired robot toys in that line.

robatnorcross
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Re: Fascinating
robatnorcross   2/6/2013 3:40:55 PM
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I'm not sure which is worse. Slowly dieing while trapped under the rubble of a building or seeing a mechanical snake monster approaching you and you can't get away.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Fascinating
Cabe Atwell   2/6/2013 4:28:44 PM
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Don't forget the snake/worm robots in surgery. http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=258121

 

That sort of mobility will push the medical field into new, and I imagine uncomfortable, areas.

 

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fascinating
Ann R. Thryft   2/12/2013 4:56:08 PM
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Thanks, Cabe. About half the snakes in this slideshow are aimed at surgical apps the same as the one at the link you posted.



Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fascinating
Ann R. Thryft   2/8/2013 1:09:12 PM
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robatnorcross, I had a similar thought, although I'm not afraid of snakes--unless they're venomous, that is. This one's "skin" pattern is camouflage, but it looks a lot like some venomous western rattlers I've seen. Even without fear of snakes, this would still give one pause if you were trapped and couldn't move.

Charles Murray
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Fukushima
Charles Murray   2/5/2013 4:51:06 PM
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Ann, do you know if the Slim Slime Robot was designed in response to the needs of the Fukushima nuclear plant? Looks like an ideal solution for that application.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fukushima
Ann R. Thryft   2/5/2013 5:19:37 PM
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Chuck, the Slim Slime description didn't specifically mention it as being developed for Fukushima. That name happens to be the last name of one of the robotic lab's two directors. The other's last name is Hirose.

Mydesign
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Re: Fukushima
Mydesign   2/5/2013 11:01:46 PM
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Ann, thatís for sharing this interesting article. So far robots have the role for assisting in investigation and diagnosis outside the human body. With this snake type, they are penetrating to human body even in blood vessels. Hope this will bring a mass changes in medical care technology.

Charles Murray
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Re: Fukushima
Charles Murray   2/6/2013 10:10:53 PM
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Still, I'm sure it would have been useful at the Fukushima nuclear plant, Ann.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fukushima
Ann R. Thryft   2/7/2013 12:10:33 PM
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Chuck, I agree--that's one of the applications on a general level: inspecting things in nuclear power plants.

Charles Murray
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War of the Worlds
Charles Murray   2/5/2013 4:53:17 PM
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The OC Robotics robot looks eerily similar to the "three-fingered" robots in Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds.

Elizabeth M
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Creeping and crawly
Elizabeth M   2/6/2013 6:43:57 AM
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Well, we have come a long way from the Slinky, haven't we? Impressive display of technology, Ann. This design form factor really seems to be working for robotics development at the moment. As we can see from the slideshow, it's quite versatile, which is probably why it's so appealing (if not a bit creepy and crawly as well!). :)

bdcst
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Re: Creeping and crawly
bdcst   2/6/2013 9:59:39 AM
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Yes, we've come a long way since the Slinky which was invented in 1940.  Back then microprocessors, let alone mainframe computers, did not exist.  A simple material, sand, manipulated in complex ways has made it possible to provide the intelligence and electrical control required to drive the imaginative tools of the 21st century.

I was in awe of the electronic tablets depicted in Stanley Kubrick's film "2001 A Space Odyssey."  Back in the last century that hardware seemed so futuristic.  Who would have imagined the iPad with far greater capabilities becoming a must have personal eReader, camera, and mobile computer a short time past 2001?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Creeping and crawly
Ann R. Thryft   2/6/2013 11:55:23 AM
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Elizabeth, funny you should mention Slinky :) The Slim Slime reminded me of the old Slinky toy as soon as I saw the photo.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Creeping and crawly
Elizabeth M   2/7/2013 4:10:21 AM
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Exactly! That was my first thought, too! I guess that dates us, doesn't it? But it is interesting to see how the movement of that simple toy was a precursor for what's being done in robotics...and that toy moved simply on design alone without actuators. I guess you never know where inspiration will come from or how these things evolve.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Creeping and crawly
Ann R. Thryft   2/7/2013 12:11:02 PM
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Everything dates everyone, doesn't it? But I'm with you--I can imagine an engineer looking at Slinky's movements and wondering how to motorize and automate them. First there's a design that uses a helical shape, gravity, and momentum, and then the big jump to motors.

Charles Murray
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Re: Creeping and crawly
Charles Murray   2/7/2013 7:38:54 PM
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Liz, I believe Slinkies still exist, don't they? So we'll cut you some slack on the issue of that being a "dated" observation.

Battar
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Bad shape
Battar   2/6/2013 9:46:14 AM
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Deploy a robot which looks like a snale and moves like a snake, someone might think it IS a snake and set out to destroy it. In the real world, a fair number of these robots are going to get their heads shot off. In a military application they could also be used to freak out the enemy, of course.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Bad shape
Ann R. Thryft   2/6/2013 11:58:34 AM
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Battar, I'm not afraid of snakes (but don't even ask me about tarantulas), although many people are. That's a good point about military applications, though, and could apply to search-and-rescue ops, also. Fortunately most of these don't actually look much like real snakes, with the exception of MIT's Meshworm.




Corona Rich
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Rectal Applications
Corona Rich   2/6/2013 10:42:50 AM
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I'm wondering if an appropriate version would be available for my next colonoscopy.  I don't go under sedation for them, and as a side benefit I get to enjoy watching the video. 

It does feel kind of strange when the 'scope has to go around corners, and a device with proactive flexibility such as this would be an improvement.

apresher
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Snake-like
apresher   2/6/2013 2:13:55 PM
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Several actually look snake-like.  They just aren't menacing.

sensor pro
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robotic snakes
sensor pro   2/6/2013 2:24:12 PM
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Israeli military is using spy snakes for about 5 years. It is very effective in a vegetation covered areas. here are afew nice articles on he net showing that use.

FYI:  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/131807#.URKtq2kkTx4

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: robotic snakes
Ann R. Thryft   2/6/2013 2:47:54 PM
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sensor pro, thanks for that link. That snake robot, and its uses, look quite similar to some of the search-and-rescue snake/worm/bots in this slideshow. But--I wonder if that's a cammo skin pattern, or a natural snake skin pattern? I can't tell from the low-res photo.

sensor pro
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Re: robotic snakes
sensor pro   2/6/2013 3:03:55 PM
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If needed, i can get that info, however my guess it is not natural skin. It is camo, as I saw them in sand color also.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: robotic snakes
Ann R. Thryft   2/6/2013 4:55:19 PM
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That's cute--I thought it was cammo.The head also looks a bit like it resembles a gas-mask.

sensor pro
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Re: robotic snakes
sensor pro   2/6/2013 3:10:48 PM
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I found a video from news on the same subject.

Enjoy.

http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A2KLqINQuBJRukIAJTP7w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTBvcXNvNnBqBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDVjEzMw--?p=israeli+snake+spy&vid=924908f01a3b026f4514dbb41911fda3&l=&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts2.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DV.4996508118679577%26pid%3D15.1&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D4yDTlToPyOc&tit=Israeli%26%2339%3Bs+Invent+a+Robotic+Spy+Snake&c=0&sigr=11a478smb&&tt=b

 

 

the link is a bit too long.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: robotic snakes
Ann R. Thryft   2/6/2013 4:56:46 PM
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Here's a shorter link to a video of that Israeli army spy snake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t2nFHjtIJQ

Corona Rich
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Dated?
Corona Rich   2/8/2013 9:52:23 AM
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Yes, slinkys are still around.  The one I bought my kids years back was plastic.

MY slinky was metal, and didn't have one of those sissy clamps on each end to keep you from poking yourself.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Dated?
Elizabeth M   2/8/2013 10:36:28 AM
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Ah, I wondered about the Slinky and actually suspected it might still be out there amusing children and adults alike! So I guess I'm not so old after all. ;)

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Dated?
Ann R. Thryft   2/8/2013 11:45:56 AM
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Plastic?! My Slinky was metal, too, and I don't remember any clamps. We were too tough to need that stuff :)



Charles Murray
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Re: Dated?
Charles Murray   2/8/2013 6:16:28 PM
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I'm sure kids would prefer a metal slinky, Ann. But the lawyers woudn't.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Dated?
Ann R. Thryft   2/11/2013 8:00:32 PM
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You're right of course, Chuck. I forgot all about those darn lawyers.

apresher
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Robotic Snakes & Worms
apresher   2/12/2013 9:56:35 AM
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Now if Chuck is going to bring the lawyers into the discussion, that might kill a series of threads for comments.

Ken E.
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Fear of snakes.
Ken E.   8/23/2013 9:55:39 AM
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My kid (thus I) had snakes as 'pets', but it never occurred to me that one might some day get the paper for me!

That said, a 'fear' of snakes is pretty strong and innate in the general population, and I admit to a few internal shudders when looking at these photos. 

Real snake locomotion is trully wondrous.  I've seen them go right up the trunk of a tree, literally 'look ma, no hands!'.  Amazing.  I truly admire anyone attempting to mimic it mechanically, they have their work cut out for them.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fear of snakes.
Ann R. Thryft   8/26/2013 1:25:47 PM
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Ken, interesting point about fear of snakes. Actually, only some people fear them. I'm not one of them. But spiders absolutely creep me out, and not everyone has that fear either. Some people think it's like a gene allele: you either fear one or the other, but not both.

Concolor44
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Re: Fear of snakes.
Concolor44   2/5/2014 9:21:57 AM
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Or you can fear neither.

Snakes are just cool. Of course, since I live in North America I don't really have any to be especially afraid of. There are only a few venomous snakes, and it's unlikely that a bite would be fatal in any case. If I lived in Australia, where Every Other Stinking Thing You Meet wants to kill you -- and can -- it would be different. The Common Brown snake (so called because it is dirt colored and very common) is the fifth most lethal snake on the planet. I don't even want to VISIT.

Spiders, by and large, are fun. I think the orb weavers and garden spiders are gorgeous. They have such interesting patterns, and they make great inroads on the flying-pest population. Wolf spiders are great to have around outside. And the little jewel-like jumping spiders are fun to play with. They tickle the hairs on the backs of my fingers. Black Widows and I have an understanding: we leave each other alone. I actually encourage them to nest under the house, since they are swift death to roaches and I prefer biological warfare over bug bombs. If they get in the house, I just move 'em back to the crawlspace.

Those brown, spindly spiders, though? They die. Period. They are toxic to humans and basically have no redeeming features, prefering to hide where you are going to put your hands or feet, and bite with little provocation.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fear of snakes.
Ann R. Thryft   8/26/2013 1:27:08 PM
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I agree about snake locomotion. I've seen it explained and dissected and diagrammed a lot of times, but to see it in action still amazes me.

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