Robot snakes could colonise other worlds

NASA investigates remote-controlled robotic snakes colonising other planets

Space-aged remote-controlled robotic snakes developed to employ an unnervingly realistic slithering motion have been created by a Californian animator.

It has been suggested the snakes even have the potential to colonise other planets given their uniquely authentic reptilian wriggling behaviour. NASA has established a Serpentine Robotics Project to investigate the possibility.

Animator Gavin Miller came up with the technology for the snakes using an algorithm developed in three-dimensional animation. Details along with footage of these extraordinary creatures and the computer animation they are derived from can be found at the creators purpose built Web site .

These 7-kilo brass and polycarbonate monsters are constructed of 30 separate mechanical segments. The snakes are also self-contained carrying an onboard computer radio transmitter and battery. They are remotely controlled using two joysticks not unlike an aircraft.