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.

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 September 20, 2014 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 September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To Protect Your Data In The Still-Vulnerable iOS 8

How To Protect Your Data In The Still-Vulnerable iOS 8

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) One security researcher says despite Apple's efforts to increase security in iOS 8, it's still vulnerable to law enforcement data-transfer techniques. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Much Privacy Protection Will Google's Android L Provide?

How Much Privacy Protection Will Google's Android L Provide?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Google's local encryption will make it harder for law enforcement or malicious actors to access the contents of devices running Android L. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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