Feeds

Prof's robotic pole-snake goes big in Korea

'Oscillating joint motion' wows the crowds

The next step in data security

Engineering profs based in Virginia have scooped a Korean tech prize by designing a robotic pole-climbing snake.

The snakey pole-robot in action

'Unique even in nature'

The snake, known as HyDRAS-Ascent (Hyper-redundant Discrete Robotic Articulated Serpentine) is intended to climb up scaffolding, pillars or whatnot and carry out inspections which would otherwise have to be undertaken by people. It works by wrapping itself around a pole in the fashion popular among scantily-clad female entertainment operatives catering to the sweaty-palmed business executive, and propels itself upward using "oscillating joint motion".

Apparently the oscillating pole-snake went down a storm in Korea, scoring the top 1 million won (£500) prize at the 2008 International Symposium on Educational Excellence.

The snaky robot is about 3 feet long, according to Dennis Hong of Virginia Tech's Robotics and Mechanisms Lab, which developed it.

“Unlike inchworm type gaits often being developed for serpentine robot locomotion, this novel climbing gait requires the serpentine robot to wrap around the structure in a helical shape, and twist its whole body to climb or descend by rolling up or down the structure,” said Hong.

Virginia Tech described the mechanism as "unique even in nature", puzzlingly.

“This family of novel robots will serve as a practical inspection tool for construction sites without putting workers in harm’s way,” added Hong. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source
Landlubber scope-gazers squint to horizons and see anti-electron count surge
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.