Search and rescue robots inspired by snakes: Research

Scalybot 2

The reptilian-science fusion seems to be the hottest agenda for scientists currently, especially with regards to robotic technologies. More recently, Georgia Tech experts designed a new robotic machine that apparently utilizes less energy and is touted to perform search and rescue jobs. This build was inspired by observing the locomotion of a snake.

After examining and recording the motion of 20 distinct snakes, the team developed Scalybot 2. The latter is a robot that supposedly mimics the rectilinear form of mobility observed in snakes. Considering that snakes use very little energy while moving across large distances, the investigators tried to design the robot in a similar way.

Hamid Marvi, a Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. candidate at Georgia Tech, commented, “By using their scales to control frictional properties, snakes are able to move large distances while exerting very little energy.”

According to the team, Scalybot 2 can automatically alter the angle of its scales as it reaches different locations and slope. The adjustment encountered in the process enables the robot to fight or create friction. This 2-link robot is regulated by a remote controlled joystick that can move backward or forward by utilizing 4 motors.

While a snake moves in rectilinear motion, it does not bend its body laterally to reach a different point. These creatures lift the ventral scales and push their bodies forward by transmitting a muscular wave from the head to the tail.

One of the scientists expressed that this research shows how snakes can also be helpful to the public. Scalybot 2 was unveiled at the Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology (SICB) annual meeting in Charleston, S.C this month.

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