Feeds

Israeli robot trouser snake 'too big' to penetrate backdoors

New smaller, flexible version can delay its explosion

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Israeli military is working on a smaller version of its famous trouser(ed) snake robot, intended for penetration missions into such locations as the smuggler tunnel complexes of the Egyptian border - in effect, the backdoor to Gaza. Reportedly the original robo-snake, seen in the vid below, was considered too large and insufficiently flexible.

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.

However the original snake had only a single degree of freedom at each joint, meaning that it had to be overly long and heavy to deliver the necessary flexibility. Now, Israeli war-tech site Defense Update reports that a new and enhanced robo snake is under development.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Gabi Dobresco of the Israeli Defence Forces, the new snake will have two degrees of freedom at each joint, meaning that it can be shorter and yet still have full mobility and flexibility. Dobresco considers that it "could be useful in urban and subterranean warfare, enabling the inspection and surveillance of sewage systems, narrow tunnels, or culverts, inaccessible by other systems".

It seems that after slipping into targeted tunnels and the like, the snake – which is floppy or rigid depending on requirements – would be used to deposit unwelcome payloads with serious consequences: for instance delayed-action bombs, or spy packages of various sorts.

The original version reportedly had some of the same capabilities, but lacked the restraint of the new machine - it could only explode as soon as it reached its destination, after which it would be largely useless. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.