Of all the robots designed to induce cold sweats, a locomotive snake wiggling its way up a ladder might make you the chilliest.
You can thank Japanese researchers at Kyoto University and the University of Electro-Communications for the video below, which shows the robotic serpent in action. It was presented at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Spain last week.
Unlike its humanoid counterparts, which cover both cute and cuddly and demonic-looking variants, the smooth, black robot snake is controlled remotely by a PC and a Playstation controller. The machine appears to writhe as it scales the ladder. Researchers note that their scary creation moves by forming a series of basic shapes. Grooves similar to joints in a skeletal system, or pectinate muscles in the heart, allow it to shape-shift.
Though it doesn’t dazzle like MIT’s Cheetah bot, the snake could prove useful in disaster relief efforts, especially when the terrain is rugged and first-responders can’t access victims with jetpacks. The snake could ostensibly alert authorities to your location if you’re ever trapped under a pile of rocks.
Still, the snake doesn’t bode well for your comfort when watching it wiggle up a ladder for the sake of experimentation.
Source: IEEE Spectrum via Gizmodo