Snake robots

snake robot

Dr. Gavin Miller has been investigating snake robots for over ten years. His first models, S1 and S2, use one servo at each joint. S3 used a pair of servos to create a sidewinding motion along with the more common horizontal undulations. S4 was an attempt to power the snake with just one motor, but ran into problems because of high torque in the u-joints. S5 was the first to have all CNC parts, which made for a more compact package. The larger snake did require the use of a second microprocessor. S6 was another attempt at a single motor snake, this time using a complicated gear train. It still had problems. S7 is the most recent prototype and is an attempt at rectilinear motion like that of a python (undulations in the direction of movement).

[thanks joeboy]


  1. Sprite_tm says:

    snakebots are cool. i made one with a group at the end of the first year of my ee-study at the university here. it used one engine per joint, and all the segments were the same (one uC, one motor, connector in front, connector in back) and could be connected in any order. the nice thing of the design was: powersupply allowing, you could split the snake in two and both ends would become an independent snake. Too bad I don’t have any info of it online anymore.

  2. James says:

    Awsome, one step closer to “Blade Runner”

    Lets get rid of all living things

  3. hex4def6 says:

    the guy mentions that one use of the snakebot would be for search-and-rescue. I wonder though if an earthworm type design wouldn’t be better for that sort of thing; perhaps have sections that can inflate and deflate, which can provide grip in confined spaces such as pipes.

  4. carpespasm says:

    i for one, welcome our snakebot overlords

  5. John Bokma says:

    I for one am going to make my garbage filter ( ) run on hack a day as well, because the first post and overlord jokes are getting quite outdated by now. Even my grandmother doesn’t make them anymore.

    I for, one welcome our n00b kill filing overlords, all hail the GreaseMonkey

  6. jimmys says:

    it’s just this kind of irresponsible research that leads to james brolin getting bitten by a robosnake when they eventually get around to opening the Delos theme park.

  7. happy gilmore says:

    hey john bokma,
    lighten up! sheesh!

  8. Liam says:

    Is it just me, or are the ‘hacks’ being posted decending more and more into ‘projects’? In what way exactly is this a hack?

  9. Bri says:

    Hack or project who cares?
    I enjoy both hacks and projects posted here. call it a physics hack if you like.

  10. Don’t worry I’ll be sure to post an article once someone hacks your everyday off-the-shelf robotsnake.

  11. jimmys says:

    I wouldn’t have seen this guy’s site if it hadn’t been brought to my attention. So to that extent, thanks hackaday! Hack or not, the article gave me some new ways to think about one of my projects.

    liam: I agree that this is a project larger in scope than what is typically refered to as a ‘hack’. What is your definition of ‘hacking’?

  12. John Bokma says:

    @happy gilmore – like I said, even my grandmother doesn’t make those jokes anymore.

  13. Leigh Times says:

    I was searching for repairing my xbox when I found your site. Great post. Thank You.

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