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Israeli army develops one-eyed robot trouser snake

Erects rigidly to penetrate smugglers' route

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Vid The Israeli armed forces are developing a flexible man-portable robotic snake equipped with a camera, intended for battlefield surveillance missions. The experimental military snake was displayed on television this week.

Needless to say, YouTube footage is available:

(You need Flash and suitable firewall privileges to view it.)

AP reports that the snake is about six feet long, and is controlled by a soldier with a suitably modified laptop. Reportedly, Israeli combat-snake boffins modelled the slithering mechanoid on biological examples - possibly one-eyed ones, considering its design.

Tactics and concepts of operation for the wriggling machine remain to be confirmed. However, the TV footage hints that Israeli forces might use it to penetrate difficult enemy targets such as tunnels - for instance the well-known smugglers' routes into southern Gaza from Egypt, effectively an open back entrance into the otherwise tightly-controlled Strip.

In the vid, the machine is shown clad in the same camouflage patterned cloth used in items of Israeli military apparel. The trouser(ed) snake exhibits an impressive ability to become rigid and erect itself as required in order to gain access to otherwise impenetrable areas.

According to AP, the snake is also potentially able to explode on reaching a suitable target, after which it isn't good for much any more. ®

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