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Slideshow: Robotic Snakes & Worms Get Under Your Skin
2/5/2013

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The Slim Slime Robot from the Tokyo Institute of Technology's Hirose Fukushima Lab is a pneumatically driven active cord mechanism. It is used to inspect pipes in chemical laboratories or nuclear plants, detect unexploded mines, and help first responders find victims in collapsed buildings. A series of six connected modules are driven by pneumatic actuators. Compressed air is forced from the main tube of each module into that module's bellows, or flexible pneumatic actuators, which are located along the main tube's length. The Slim Slime can creep like a snake, make pivoting turns, roll laterally, and move with a pedal-like motion that emulates snails and limpets. Its total length is 730-1,120mm (28.7-44 inches). It weighs 12kg (26.4 pounds), and its top speed is about 60mm (2.36 inches) per second. (Source: Hirose Fukushima Lab)
The Slim Slime Robot from the Tokyo Institute of Technology's Hirose Fukushima Lab is a pneumatically driven active cord mechanism. It is used to inspect pipes in chemical laboratories or nuclear plants, detect unexploded mines, and help first responders find victims in collapsed buildings. A series of six connected modules are driven by pneumatic actuators. Compressed air is forced from the main tube of each module into that module's bellows, or flexible pneumatic actuators, which are located along the main tube's length. The Slim Slime can creep like a snake, make pivoting turns, roll laterally, and move with a pedal-like motion that emulates snails and limpets. Its total length is 730-1,120mm (28.7-44 inches). It weighs 12kg (26.4 pounds),
and its top speed is about 60mm (2.36 inches) per second.
(Source: Hirose Fukushima Lab)

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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!). :)

Battar
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Platinum
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.

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?

Corona Rich
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Gold
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.

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.

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.




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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Gold
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.

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