Bad-ass modular snake robot

[Andrew] sent in this sweet snake robot video. The snake bots are all about 36 inches long and built from lots of hitech servos and 6061 aluminum. The guys/gals at Carnegie Mellon have built quite a few of these, and I’d say that their work is paying off. They haven’t published much in the way of details, but it appears that the snakes are being computer controlled for faster behavioral development than an on-board mictrocontroller would allow. When I saw the snake motion I was reminded of the winner of the latest Tresser robotics contestPhoenix. It’s a spider like bot based on servos, but with some very impressive motion programming that was designed with an excel spreadsheet.


  1. tyler says:

    dang, that’s amazing. imagine a fleet of those crawling into your house sometime soon… it gave me the creeps.

    but really though, thats a good idea to start with a tethered robot, as you can always change things on-the-fly rather than to have to hook up a icsp or serial to change one tiny thing.

    …anyway, that’s amazing still! wow.

  2. Dean Putney says:

    Carnegie Mellon strikes again! Awesome!

  3. I need to get one of these. I could SO use it to do stuff I’m not supposed to. I can just imagine…

    These would make the best bomb squad robots ever.

  4. Rad says:

    I was thinking the same thing, bomb squad/recon. I wonder how they keep the cable(s) from tangling? I can’t really see in the video, and also, I would like to know how much power one of those eats, even for high end servos, I’m sure the draw is pretty demanding.

    Otherwise, purely awesome, I love the plastic skins they have for water/outside, they could have just video taped a snake, and I wouldn’t look twice.

  5. strider_mt2k says:

    I wonder if they get tired of hearing and reading -= wow =- ?

    I hope not, because _wow_ that’s some nice work!

    -and another one just so you know I’m serious.


  6. Doug says:

    Far out, as creepy as the real thing. OK stand still as we demo this thing crawling up my leg. Am over the top touch would be some rattles on the tail end.

  7. says:

    that’s crazy bad ass…

  8. max7 says:

    truly crazy sexy awsome robotdesign. big up!

  9. These could go anywhere you want to, or anywhere everyone doesn’t want you. I wouldn’t want that thing crawling up my leg. Someone’s going to get dirty and put venemous fangs on the head of this bot.

  10. despot says:

    pretty sure i saw this on slash dot last year. (might have been a different project)

  11. cameron20020 says:

    mmm nice…
    would make a nice robot pet, even though robot pets arent that good, would be nice, as i wouldnt need a license to own this, but i would with the real thing. mwhahah imagine the evil deeds that could be conquered with this, disguise it as a deadly snake, and order it to chase someone around lol

  12. Tory says:

    Put a couple of these together, mount a platform on top, and this would be the best exploratory rover ever built!
    If you build it large enough, it could support the weight and power requirements for the processor power/memory to be ‘on board’ and make it independent of control cables!
    Way Cool!!!

  13. srilyk says:

    I must admit I’m VERY impressed,

    but I am curious as to the power draw of this snakey (I was going to say puppy… but obviously it’s not).

    OOOH! Finally! Something that can eat those dumb iDogs! YES! Good job guys!

  14. hannes says:

    Scary stuff!

    I am with Indiana Jones: “I hate snakes”

    Still, awesome engineering…

  15. CD Watters says:

    Probably the cables are for power as well as control, otherwise putting WIFI or BT would be pretty simple for offboard control.

    Still, they have been doing some very nice things here, if it’s modular, then eventually several snakebots should be able to connect and cooperate for larger tasks.

    This would make one hell of a search bot for disasters, put an appropriate sensor suite on it, and it could wiggle into places where normal searchbots fail.

  16. HarrisonHopkins says:

    I want one. Now.

  17. Mark says:

    I want one of those, looks excellent fun

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