Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Snake-like Robot Conquers Obstacles

Date:
March 25, 2005
Source:
University Of Michigan
Summary:
A virtually unstoppable "snakebot" developed by a University of Michigan team that resembles a high-tech slinky as it climbs pipes and stairs, rolls over rough terrain and spans wide gaps to reach the other side.

A virtually unstoppable "snakebot" developed by a University of Michigan team that resembles a high-tech slinky as it climbs pipes and stairs, rolls over rough terrain and spans wide gaps to reach the other side.
Credit: Photo courtesy of University Of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A virtually unstoppable "snakebot" developed by a University of Michigan team that resembles a high-tech slinky as it climbs pipes and stairs, rolls over rough terrain and spans wide gaps to reach the other side.

Related Articles


The 26-pound robot developed at the U-M College of Engineering is, called OmniTread. It moves by rolling, log-style, or by lifting its head or tail, inchworm-like, and muscling itself forward. The robot's unique tread design prevents it from stalling on rough ground, said Research Professor Johann Borenstein, the head of the mobile robotics lab at U-M.

The snake-shaped serpentine robot is propelled along by moving treads that cover 80 percent of its body. These treads prevent the snakebot from stalling or becoming stuck on rough terrain because, similar to a tire touching a road, t the treads propel the robot forward like a tire touching a road. Historically, scientists haven't had much success with wheeled and tracked robots on rough terrain because they constantly stall.

A human operator controls the snakebot via a joystick and umbilical cord, which also provides electric power, which sends commands to specially designed software. A smaller, but more self-contained version that is now under development will carry on-board power for one hour of tetherless operation.

The OmniTread is divided into five box-shaped segments connected through the middle by a long drive shaft spine that drives the tracks of all segments. Bellows in the joints connecting the sections inflate or deflate to make the robot turn or lift the segments. The bellows provide enough torque for the OmniTread to lift the two front or rear segments to climb objects.

In one test, the OmniTread climbed an 18-inch curb, which is over more than twice its height. It also crossed a 66-centimeter trench, which is half its length. In another test, it inched up a pipe by pushing against opposite walls.

The robot is ideal for hazardous inspections or surveillance in industrial or military applications Borenstein said. The research was to appear in the appears on the March 18 edition of the International Journal on Industrial Robots, in a special issue on mobile robots. The paper, "The OmniTread Serpentine Robot for Industrial Inspection and Surveillance," was written by Borenstein and co-authors Malik Hansen and Grzegorz Granosik.

For a web video of OmniTread, see, and click on video clip: http://www.engin.umich.edu/research/mrl/00MoRob_6.html

For information on Borenstein and the Mobile Robotics Lab, see:

http://www-personal.engin.umich.edu/~johannb/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan. "Snake-like Robot Conquers Obstacles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050323131810.htm>.
University Of Michigan. (2005, March 25). Snake-like Robot Conquers Obstacles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050323131810.htm
University Of Michigan. "Snake-like Robot Conquers Obstacles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050323131810.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 3, 2015) A holodeck is no longer the preserve of TV sci-fi classic Star Trek, thanks to researchers from the Institute of Forensic Medicine Zurich, who have created what they say is the first system in the world to visualise the 3D data of forensic scans. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
HP to Buy Aruba Networks in $3B Deal

HP to Buy Aruba Networks in $3B Deal

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) Hewlett-Packard is boosting its mobile computing business... buying California-based Aruba Networks- a wi-fi network gear maker for $24.67 per share. Leah Duncan reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) This year, mobile payments might finally catch on. Here are the things you need to know to stay on top of the latest developments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Curved Screen Give Samsung the Edge?

Can Curved Screen Give Samsung the Edge?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) South Korea&apos;s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its latest Galaxy S smartphones, featuring a slim body made from aircraft-grade metal, in a bid to reclaim the throne of undisputed global smartphone leader from Apple Inc. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins