Researchers at the BioRobotics and BioMechanics Labortory (BRML) or Israel Technion are working on an improved, more robust and agile snake robot that will enhance the performance already demonstrated by an earlier BRML ‘robotic snake’ in 2009. Unlike the previous robot, that used a centralized processor to control the individual elements.
As primary sensors, the robot will be equipped with a thermal imager, miniature cameras or low-light TV sensors, and possibly laser scanners operating as laser radar (LADAR). As each of the links is embedded with cameras, the entire group provides redundant, instant multiple 360 degree view of the surrounding while mapping of indoor and subterranean areas by laser radar.
This 7kg prototype uses elements made of aluminum to meet the level of ruggedness required for field operation. However, for a production models Technion researchers expect the weight to drop by half, below four kg, as much of the aluminum parts with durable composite materials.