Robots, as we think of them, have been a staple of science fiction for almost a century now, and the majority of those stories have been about how they’re going to find a way to kill us. But, over the years, we’ve grown complacent with the knowledge that we can just hide in a tree house where we’ll be safe from our murderous Roombas. Now, thanks to engineers from the Kyoto University Matsuno Lab, even tree houses aren’t safe from this ladder climbing snake robot.
To be fair, this robot was actually designed for the noble job of search and recovery. The idea is that it can slither it’s way over rough terrain, through small gaps, and up ladders to locate people in need of assistance. The snakebot may give them a heart attack when it does, but at least they’ll be found. While we’ve seen snake-like robots before that can climb poles and squirm through tight openings, this one is able to scale ladders with remarkable agility.
The robot has a total of 36 individual joints, and each joint is capable of 180 degrees of movement. The body was 3D printed, and operators can navigate using a camera mounted on the “head” of the snake. Using a gamepad, they can steer the robot without controlling individual joints. Instead, the rear segments will automatically try to follow the forward segments. Using that technique, it can wrap itself around the rungs of a completely vertical ladder in order to climb to the top. It is, of course, terrifying, but it could also potentially save lives — a job your traitorous Roomba would likely refuse.