Snakebots are robots that move like a snake to slither around and over obstacles.
The snakebot was developed to be able to travel over any terrain and collect data on other planets.
Unlike other robots NASA has used, the snakebot will be able to burrow under the ground and collect samples from different soil levels. The snakebot will even be able to move in and out of cracks in the planetary surface.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The snakebot is made up of up to 30 different segments, much like the vertebrae of a snake. Each segment contains mechanical components which are controlled by sensors and small computers. A central computer controls most of the movement and commands for the entire robot. The software written for the snakebot communicates information from the sensors to the central computer telling it that the segment is touching something. The central computer will determine the direction or action the segment should take to overcome the obstacle. Software is being developed that will “learn”, allowing the snakebot to make determinations on how to correct movement depending on the type of terrain it encounters.
The snakebot will be covered in an artificial skin, allowing it to withstand extremes of temperature and make it water resistant.
The snakebot is the lightest of all the explorer robots and can be stored in a relatively small space, taking up less weight and less room in the spacecraft. It also does not require a ramp to deploy it onto the planetary surface.
Another great feature of the snakebot is that it is easily repairable in space. Space segments can be on hand for repair if needed.
Equipped with cameras, sampling mechanics, and environmental sensors the snakebot will be a valuable tool in space exploration.
Filed under: Electronics
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