Building robots that slither | Science News

Be a Champion for Science

Get your subscription to

Science News when you join.


Building robots that slither

12:55pm, November 16, 2012

View the videos

Howie Choset is a roboticist, but his team’s creations bear little resemblance to C-3PO or R2-D2. Instead, Choset finds inspiration in nature — specifically, snakes.

“A lot of people have this notion that robots are modeled after people,” says Choset, of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. But the animal kingdom is full of organisms that use different types of locomotion, he says.

The snake robots in Choset’s laboratory can slither, roll, swim and climb straight up. These slender machines, usually built from a series of metal pieces containing motors and electronics, can also squeeze into tight spaces.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News