This Snake Has Legs

[Allen Pan] loves snakes. He loves them so much that he’s decided to play god, throwing away millions of years of evolution — just to give snakes back the legs they’ve “lost”.

Ok, so this hack has tongue planted firmly in cheek, but it’s still pretty darn cool. [Allen] designed and 3D printed what can best be described as a robot for snakes to ride.

The build wasn’t easy. Allen’s first attempts using toys based on [Jamie Mantzel]’s giant robot didn’t go exactly to plan. Thankfully those were only tested with a plush snake test dummy.  Thankfully [Allen’s] second was on target.

The robot itself consists of 4 legs, each with 3 joints and two servos. The foot joint pivots freely to handle any uneven terrain. The robot’s gait is derived from lizards Allen observed in a pet shop. The main body of the robot is a clear plastic tube. Once Shinji the snake decides to get in the robot, it isn’t strapped in. In fact, the snake is free to leave whenever it wants.

Currently, the whole system just walks forward. [Allen] appears to be using a servo controller with a hard-coded walking sequence. We’d love to see the next step – figuring out a way for the snake to control the robot’s direction.  Perhaps with a camera with gaze detection?

We’ve covered robots driven by animals before, and we’ve covered some of [Allen]’s builds — like this electromagnetic rendition on Mjölnir.

13 thoughts on “This Snake Has Legs

  1. It’s like those goldfish-driven cars that just thrash around because the fish is scared, except with an animal less prone to panic. Very cool.

    Sounds easy enough to steer based on head pointing, and stop if they start slithering out or back in.

  2. “You gave them proof that there was something bigger and scarier to unite against, you little idiot. They would have gone back into the Dark Ages for a couple of generations, but instead, they dedicated themselves into making universe-destroying, un-thought-out technology like time travel all so they could try to kill a little shitsack on Earth who couldn’t let a dead snake be dead even after it bit his ankle.

    Have you not seen Rattlestar Ricklactica episode of Rick and Morty? You want time traveling terminator snakes? Cause this is how you get them.

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