Snake Bot Climbs Trees

While you are out enjoying your Labor Day festivities, keep an eye out for robot snakes in the trees. The CMU robotics lab has built a snake bot named Uncle Sam that can climb trees and poles. As you can see in the video after the break, the bot seems to have no problem at all scaling a tree. It wraps itself around the tree, then rotates down the center of its entire body. Once it has reached the top, it can take in the scenery. Though it is a little creepy looking, at least it isn’t in the water.


27 thoughts on “Snake Bot Climbs Trees

  1. Neat idea. Gotta get rid of that power cable somehow…that’s going to kill any chance at stealth or use at very tall heights.

    Also, it looks like it can’t go any higher than the first branch it encounters, which really limits its ability to climb high enough to see anything worth seeing.

    If it were my project, I would probably have used rollers in each body section, so it could spiral up the tree trunk and go around obstructions.

  2. I think it could get past a branch by keeping it’s “tail” end coiled around the tree and moving it’s head up over the branch. In some of the videos you can see it lifting about 1/2 of it’s length and looking around like a real snake.

  3. neat robot, now can someone invent a battery that holds more than a wet noodle’s worth of charge? even nanotech phosphate cells are only good for something like 80% of li-ion’s capacity..

    one thought I did have is whether a battery could be constructed using a scheme like EL wire (thanks Jeri for inspiration) where the inner cathode core is ultra flexible copper alloy overlaid with lithium iron phosphate, the electrolyte and separator, anode collector then the outer wire electrodes.

    probably been done before no doubt..

  4. New lithium batt tech uses graphene as the base to grow the lithium anode on,like coral. Opens up the structure a lot, and allows faster charging w less heat too. 20% increase in density now, maybe 60% in next year…..

  5. I have had that thing climb up leg. its pretty fucking strong, while being pretty silent. For those who can’t figure out how it gets by branches after watching this video you can’t figure it out, how did you find this website?

  6. Well,

    as nice as it looks…
    it just a bunch of actuators and I guess the cable provide much more and not only power.

    As long as they do not show you the rack of electronic on the other side of the cable it might be a good robot as any movie animator is able to create. Seriously, without self powering, a brain and sensors this isn’t as outstanding as some here believe.

    Although I really like the constructions and mechanical set-up.

  7. I got the impression that this was sort of aimed at search-and-rescue type scenarios, where the tether isn’t necessarily a problem – good for sending back video etc to the operator (think collapsed buildings in earthquakes etc).

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