Researchers develop second-gen military snake 'bot

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Researchers at Israel's Technion Institute have developed a second-gen military snake 'bot that could eventually participate in urban and subterranean operations conducted by the IDF.

"The snake [would] enable the [precise] inspection and surveillance of sewage systems, narrow tunnels, or culverts [that are] inaccessible by other systems. [It can also] 'sneak' stealthily inside buildings, [while] using its sensors to scan their interiors," explained Israeli security expert Tamir Eshel.

"[And], unlike the [first-gen robot] that used a centralized processor to control the individual elements, [this iteration] employs independent links built as common elements - each packing logic and control processors, inertial sensors, servo actuators, power source, communications and sensors."

According to Eshel, the snake is also capable of transporting "disposable" sensors designed to monitor activity inside buildings.

"When suspicious activity is detected, the stealthy robot will be able to identify specific targets while remain virtually unnoticed, and leave behind delayed activated explosive charges for employing lethal effect," he added.

The second-gen snake 'bot prototype currently weighs in at 7kg. However, future production models are expected to shed at least three pounds, as durable composite materials replace aluminum components.

Video: First-gen military snake