Uncle Sam, the All-American Robot Snake
Don't be fooled by the fancy monocle: this servo-powered serpent is as American as Apple Computers. So American, in fact, that his creators at Carnegie Mellon decided to christen him Uncle Sam. Boasting more points of articulation than a GI Joe, Sam's hobbies include crawlin' in the dirt and climbin' trees.
Don't tread on me:
Play it again, Sam:
Lin Edwards of Physorg writes,
The snake's movements are biomimetic, mimicking movements of real snakes including side-winding, wiggling and rolling. [It] can also wrap itself around a tree trunk and climb vertically up the outside of the tree [...].
Uncle Sam is built using modular segments containing actuators and sensors, and the head segment is fitted with a camera. Being modular allows the snake robot the potential to be self-assembled in the field, and also simplifies repair of the robot if sections are damaged. The modular nature also means the robot's length can be adjusted easily as needed.