Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Rubble-Searching Snakes

PostedJanuary 17, 2010

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins: Searching for victims within small gaps in rubble is a dangerous challenge.  So Howie Choset, a Carnegie Mellon robotics professor, is engineering a snake-like machine that...

Howie Choset: …moves through the collapsed rubble without disturbing the surrounding areas, which is quite important in what’s already a fragile situation.

Randy Atkins: Equipped with a camera, the aluminum snake is maneuvered remotely by a rescue worker with a joystick and a video feed.  Complex mechanics allow it to move by pushing off the environment, just like a real snake.

Howie Choset: Right now we have a snake robot that can climb up poles, swim in the water, climb up stairs and various other terrains.

Randy Atkins: But they’re still working on some challenges…like doing all that at once in unpredictable places.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103-point-5 F-M and WTOP-dot-com.