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Rolling Snakebot

Has this already been proposed somewhere?
  [vote for,

Robotic snakes pose great possibilities to get into areas that human shaped robots can't reach. They can use all the slithering, sidewinder and coiled climbing modes of locomotion that a snake uses. Problem is these methods of moving are pretty slow.

The idea is to have them turn into a wheel and roll very quickly like Sonic the Hedgehog or those Star Wars rolling robots.

To make a snake roll would be a lot harder because it has no limbs to get it started with, but this would be a way to ovecome the problem of slow snake robots.

Has this aready been proposed? I would think so but I couldn't find anything. Only stuff about the hoax of a real snake that does this.

doctorremulac3, Sep 10 2014

The answer to your questions... I_20Left_20My_20Dur...n_20San_20Francisco
...is not in this link, but there's some ideas in the neighborhood of yours in the category [normzone, Sep 10 2014]

Non rolling snakebot http://www.youtube....watch?v=cJuNe50uuzk
[doctorremulac3, Sep 11 2014]

(??) Very primative snakebot http://www.youtube....watch?v=v6W-sEpJEqY
[doctorremulac3, Sep 11 2014]

Troller. Self rolling robot. https://www.kicksta...ational-hobby-robot
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Sep 11 2014]

Robot-loving snake http://www.ricjr.or...eptile-ocd_med.jpeg
"swallowing its tail" [4and20, Sep 15 2014]

For exploration on mars http://www.scienced...09/130916091021.htm
[doctorremulac3, Sep 28 2014]

Snakebot will leap tall buildings http://www.youtube....watch?v=6b4ZZQkcNEo
[doctorremulac3, Sep 28 2014]

How Snakebot will arrest people in its law enforcement embodiment 1:05 http://www.youtube....watch?v=oFn3P71DUBo
WARNING: This shows a live mouse getting killed by a snake so don't watch if you're squeamish please. [doctorremulac3, Sep 28 2014]

Rolling Snake Robot https://www.youtube...watch?v=JVVysO76f8Y
It's rolling the wrong way to be a robotic hoop snake, but It Rolls! [goldbb, Nov 28 2017]

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       I like. It needn't be difficult to get started, if the snake has enough flexibility.   

       For instance: the snake need not form a simple 2- dimensional hoop. It could form a zig-zaggy hoop, to give it width. This would be fairly stable against falling. It could then start rolling, and as it picked up speed it could open out the zig-zag to make a larger diameter for higher speed.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 10 2014

       Wow, that's pretty clever. So basically you have kind of a wide tire that gets narrower as it speeds up.   

       How about this? You do it like a spring.   

       So at slow speed it's got ten 6" diameter coils, as it speeds up it widens into 5 12" coils (or whatever) and eventually it's a 60" loop.
doctorremulac3, Sep 10 2014

       Yep, that's the idea.   

       And propulsion is no problem either. If you imagine a wheel-rim which is slightly flattened at the bottom, and then the rearmost part of the flat bit bulges out a little - the wheel will roll forward. I think people have tried this as a means of propelling wheels, but not for a "snakebot" like this.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 10 2014

       I would think it might actually be a pretty efficient method of moving. You don't have the friction you have in a bike or engine where you have gears, chains a wheel hub etc. You just push the ground every time you roll around.
doctorremulac3, Sep 10 2014

       " imagine a wheel-rim which is slightly flattened at the bottom, and then the rearmost part of the flat bit bulges out a little - the wheel will roll forward. I think people have tried"   

       So similar to a motorcycle tire except front to back instead of side to side.
normzone, Sep 11 2014

       Uh, well, maybe sort of. Perhaps more like an eel but with a different shape.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 11 2014

       //Has this been proposed somewhere else ?//   

       It's no problem for a snake to grab itself by the tail and locomotize across most terrain as a well-flattened ellipse/rounded-semicircle: just a matter of proper muscle coordination and balance.   

       While practiced by the young of several species, adults rarely engage because it makes them more noticeable to predators.   

       They're called "hoop snakes".
FlyingToaster, Sep 11 2014

       Nifty. Hoopsnakes and jackalopes aside, this is a self rolling wheel. I wonder if you could build one of these with a Mindstorm kit?   

       I imagine if you could have lateral protrusions which is not come in contact with the ground, you could steer by having these move out or pull on, to adjust the center of gravity. The wheel should tip and so turn towards the side sticking out.
bungston, Sep 11 2014

       The reason I like the snakebot idea so much is it really is the perfect configuration for a general purpose utility robot. Picture more of a magic rope than a snake. Once it gets anywhere it needs to, it can do anything that needs to be done. The only reason real snakes can't help around the house is because they're stupid, it's not because the snake shape can't do just about anything a person can do.   

       Snakebot could roll to the refrigerator, open the door, reach in and grab a beer and bring it back to you. It could clean the house being able to reach into any corner even to the ceiling to dust and polish lamps. Hey, no reason you could'nt put hands on each end.   

       And if the rolling thing worked, there's no robot that could roll to a crime scene at 60 miles per hour then slip through the mail slot to shoot the bad guys robbing a house. Don't want to shoot them? No prob, no handcuffs needed. Ever see a boa take down an animal? Snakebot would be THE hot law enforcement robot of the late 21st century.   

       I'm devoting my life to snakebot. All hail snakebot! (And my plans for world domination once I'm successful. Wait... did I write that or just think it?)
doctorremulac3, Sep 11 2014

       Very cool. Here's a [link] to a fellow who's working on it. He's trying to fund it through kickstarter.   

       It is a cool idea, but I wonder if I'd want to open that beer straight after the Snakebot rolled to me from the fridge.
AusCan531, Sep 12 2014

       By the way, no reason you couldn't put little wheels on these for added mobility options. You could even put extendable contra-rotating propellers on it to make these things shoot through water. You don't necessarily need it to move like a snake all the time, just in situations when that's the best way for it to move.
doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2014

       Yes I did. It's quite simply one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my life.   

       When I see stuff like this I feel like robots are going to more fundamentally change the human condition than any other technological development. Maybe agriculture is on par with it but that's about it. Electricity, the wheel? Feh.   

       You do know that because of robots work will be optional some day in the very near future right? I'd be VERY surprised if in a thousand years people had to go do something every day. (that is when I got over the surprise of still being alive to be surprised about anything) You can debate if not having to do anything to survive is a good or bad, I assume some people will do interesting stuff with their new free time and others will sit around like cattle, but that day is coming.   

       Like Adam Carolla says, children aren't the future like the Whitney Houston song says, it's robots.   

       Here's the 3 things all humans need to know about the future:   

       1: Robots 2: Robots 3: Robots   

       I also predict that there will only be two kinds of robots: a) those shaped like snakes and b) those not shaped like snakes. (Though I'm not 100% sure about the first one)
doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2014

       // I would think it might actually be a pretty efficient method of moving. You don't have the friction you have in a bike or engine where you have gears, chains a wheel hub etc. You just push the ground every time you roll around. //   

       It will be seriously difficult to make the mechanism that causes flexing between segments of a snake to be more efficient than gears, chains, and wheel hubs.   

       The one area were I could see some efficiency improvement is in the rolling resistance. If the robot can intelligently control the contact area to exactly match the contour of the surface it is rolling on, compression of the tread and/or driving surface will be minimized. That ought to have a significant improvement in rolling resistance on soft ground, and maybe a little improvement on pavement as well.   

       And of course this idea is a big improvement if you are comparing to other forms of snake movement, so [+], even if it is partially baked.
scad mientist, Sep 12 2014

       I can give you one number:   

       Percentage of people involved with gathering and/or preparation of food:   

       10,000 years ago: 100%   

       Now: 2% to grow it, 15% total by the time it gets eaten. (At least in America)   

       With all due regard to chefs and food industry workers everywhere, there's no reason we can't knock that number down to almost zero in the very near future.   

       As far as education, seems to me like big buildings with columns (colleges) are kind of an anachronism in the data-telecom age. I see people logging into their personalized education cyber entity at the age of like, 2 weeks, and being walked through their education at their own pace through adulthood.   

       No reason why you can't have an 11 year old who actually DOES know everything, as opposed to just thinking they do. (As a father I know first hand about the phenomena of omniscient pre-teens.)
doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2014

       I'm not sure if there'll even be a question of who gets what / who pays what if there's an abundance of everything for everybody. Maybe those old battle lines between producers, consumers, workers even rich or poor will get blurry or be re-drawn in ways we could only guess at if robots are doing everything.   

       As technology affords more and more people the things that only a king could afford once upon a time, where's the want that causes civil unrest and friction? Who cares what the corporate tax rate is if nobody has to work? At some point doesn't the previously very useful invention of money become a big waste of time to use?   

       I'm sure we'll still find stuff to fight over being a very creative species, but food, durable goods, housing etc are just going to go down in price as robots do everything. As we leave the oil age, robots will be there to tend the currently un-financially viable renewable energy resources like solar and the only issue will be not wiping each other out with nukes or the even more scary weapon of self replicating, autonomous-targeting nano-killbots.   

       Or jumbo killbots, take your pick. They'll both wreck your day.
doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2014

       What we actually need, for so many reasons, is fewer people.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 15 2014

       ...and more robots.
doctorremulac3, Sep 15 2014


       Snakebot will also jump. (See link to jumping robot) It coils up, aims and extends.   

       So let's look at snakebot locomotion vs humanoid:   

       Humanoid: up stairs: check - Snakebot: up stairs: check   

       Humanoid: Leaps tall buildings: no - Snakebot: Leaps tall buildings: check   

       Humanoid: Slithers through holes: no - Snakebot: Slithers through holes: check   

       Humanoid: Turns into a wheel and rolls 60 mph: no - Snakebot: Turns into a wheel and rolls 60 mph: check   

       Humanoid: Easily climbs up poles/pipes etc: no - Snakebot: Easily climbs up poles/pipes etc: check   

       Humanoid: Easily conceals itself for surveillance purposes: no - Snakebot: Easily conceals itself for surveillance purposes: check (the low profile of a snake shape can fit behind pipes, posts, along ledges of buildings, parapets, in holes etc.   

       Additionally, in it's armed embodiment, it can have a short barreled firearm at the tip that can align with other segments to form a long barreled firearm for more accurate long range shots. So it can slither into a room and shoot the bad guys at short range, or morph into a barrel of several feet to form a sniper rifle.   

       And again, for law enforcement, how are you going to get a humanoid robot's hands to grab a flailing perp's wrists? Snakebot wraps around the body, then wraps around the legs, then the arms. When Snakebot makes the arrest, the bad guys get got. (see link but be warned, it shows a snake grabbing a mouse so it's not for sensitive eyes please)
doctorremulac3, Sep 28 2014

       By the way, another configuration I see is it standing up rolling around with wheels on it's base where it's not always under foot so you can trip on it but more like a walking upright human. This would be the standard travel configuration among people, in crowded airports or malls, neighborhood patrols etc.
doctorremulac3, Sep 30 2014

pashute, Oct 01 2014

       As re robots I love the ones that wash my clothes and my dishes. Those are my favorites.   

       As re snakebot - in the near future movie version after the coolness of snakebot is fully manifest, there could be the counter snakebots. Big snakebot slips into the building and is assailed by a swarm of wormbots, one of which gets between the joints of snakebot and detonates, cutting it in half.   

       Maybe later on the head of snakebot could still save the day, like Bishop in Aliens.
bungston, Oct 01 2014

       You've got the job of head screenwriter at Remucon International, Snakebot PR department.   

       We're a small company at this point with not even 1 employee, but we've got big ambitions.
doctorremulac3, Oct 01 2014

       The snakebot could deploy nematodebots which counterstrike agaisnt the wormbots.
pocmloc, Oct 01 2014

       You don’t need wheels. If the straight-line snake coils into an open spiral like a slinky with a lot of space between turns, it could gain speed rolling and reduce the number of turns until it was a hoop. At its maximum radius this thing could really move. Scary.
minoradjustments, Dec 23 2023

       Scary yes, but dang do I want one.
doctorremulac3, Dec 23 2023


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