Snakes and the Machine Builder

Machine builders appreciate the limitations of not being able to use all the available footprint space for installing controls and instrumentation because access to those parts of the machine is difficult. And even if they were successful in installing components in such tight spaces, maintenance accessibility would be a problem.

A solution to this space limitation problem was to create snake-arm robots. A snake-arm robot has many segments and belongs to the family of hyper-redundant robots. The robotic snake arm uses its many segments, controlled by a nose-following algorithm, to reach into restricted access spaces in a minimally obtrusive manner.

A few years back, we talked about Ocrobotics, a U.K. company that was working on practical applications for robotics. They were in the process of developing a family of snake-arm robots that if successful, could eventually provide machine builders with a solutions.

We visited Ocrobotics website and found this cool snake-arm simulator video.

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We also came across the following video of a snake robot built by a student of engineering at UCLM

Have you tried your luck at buiding your own snake-arm robot, or have you used Ocrobotics' robots? Let us know about your experiences.