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Scandinavian Scientists Designing Robotic Snakes

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the on-a-robot-plane dept.

Robotics 129

Cowards Anonymous writes "The Sintef Group, a research company based in Trondheim, Norway, announced that it's designing a robot based on snakes. The 1.5-meter long robots, which are made of aluminum, are being designed to inspect and clean complicated industrial pipe systems that are typically narrow and inaccessible to humans. The intelligent robots have multiple joints to enable them to twist vertically and climb up through pipe systems to locate leaks in water systems, inspect oil and gas pipelines and clean ventilation systems."

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129 comments

Scandinavian scientists (-1, Offtopic)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#23945869)

In Scandinavia, we spread the fame and recognition around for everyone to enjoy.

Re:Scandinavian scientists (-1, Troll)

tsarkon (635349) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946681)

AIPAC, Ben JEWNANKE Bernanke, Obama, McCain. Jew Loving fucking TRAITORS!
FUCK YOU ISRAEL, FUCK YOU JEWS, YOU WILL BE HATED ONCE MORE! You keep pushing it, and you'll get the AMERICANS to fucking ROAST YOUR ASSES in OVENS! And unlike the krauts, we'll FINISH THE JOB.
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I hope IRAN wipes you FUCKERS off the MAP, and I hate the sand nigger towelheads.

Re:Scandinavian scientists (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#23947611)

I notice that this is only your second comment [slashdot.org] , and that the first was at the end of 2003(!!)

Can we assume that you *really* spent 4 1/2 years crafting this finely-worded masterpiece? Jesus, talk about matching the braindead racist stereotype, I bet it took you so long because the drool kept shorting out your keyboard.

snakes eat rats (5, Funny)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 5 years ago | (#23945875)

Then they'll have to design robotic rats too, so the robotic snakes have something to eat.

Re:snakes eat rats (0, Troll)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946451)

Anybody remember that song from like preschool, "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly?". If you go making the snake swallow rats, next you'll have to make robotic cats.

Re:snakes eat rats (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946891)

In this age of the internet, the end of that song has such a different meaning...
"She swallowed a horse, she's dead of course"

shamlessly stolen from questionablecontent

Re:snakes eat rats (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946783)

We use these babies to clean the intertubes for a few dollars per mile.

"...an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially." - Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska

The toilet... (5, Funny)

tankadin (1175113) | more than 5 years ago | (#23945883)

Just imagine sitting and having "deep thoughts" and then all of a sudden that robotic snake overlord poking you from under

Where is John Connor when you need him?

Re:The toilet... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23946833)

I, for one, welcome our robotic snake overlords... not!.

Re:The toilet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23946963)

Just imagine sitting and having "deep thoughts"
Do this mean having a shit?

Pigs Begat Snakes (4, Informative)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 5 years ago | (#23945897)

More than you ever wanted to know about devices that inspect/clean, etc. the internals of pipes [ppsa-online.com] . These snakes sound like a logical next step. Boring to you, fascinating to me.

Re:Pigs Begat Snakes (4, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946133)

LOL Not at all uninteresting to me. Actually, I'll take the off-topic hit if required. Have you seen the robots that go down 'em and weld 'em up and then the one that goes behind it and checks the weld? I guess they can do all of that in one single unit now but I had/have a buddy who's job it was to drive a remote control car (basically) up the pipes before and after. Because he's one of the greatest bullshitters of all time I was able to go with him and enjoy a few of the jobs he worked on when he was in my area. It isn't just interesting, it is fascinating to some of us.

second comment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23945899)

second comment

Ermnn What kind of snake is it? ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23945903)

If it's a trouser-snake i'm not sure it qualifies a robot...

Snakes... (3, Funny)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 5 years ago | (#23945917)

...Why'd it have to be snakes?

I can only assume this is somehow related to another Indiana Jones movie.

Re:Snakes... (2, Interesting)

Tege (687436) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946263)

Because we have very few species of snakes in Scandinavia. In Sweden there are only three species, and none is especially dangerous. Even the snakes think it's too cold up here in the north.

Scandinavians long for warmer weather, palm trees and fierce animals. The most dangerous animals in Sweden are the moose (car accidents) and wasps. Boring.

Re:Snakes... (3, Funny)

Flip-Chip (1314053) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946317)

"Scandinavians long for warmer weather"

That's why SUVs are gaining popularity in Norway :-D

Re:Snakes... (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946649)

That's why SUVs are gaining popularity in Norway :-D
Nah, I think it's the other way around. It may be inevitable that the Gulf Stream slows down or turns south or whatever [wikipedia.org] . At that point it'll get cold [wikipedia.org] even in Norway, and glaciers will start flowing down from the Scandic mountains... 4-wheel drive, large tires and decent ground clearance will be essential at that point. And it's better to buy the SUVs now, because if oil price keeps going up, they won't be making SUVs for long... However, Norwegians will have their own oil so it's up to them if they want to drive their SUVs even in global oil production shortage.


Disclaimer: above is not to be taken as a personal opinion of the writer, it's just food for thought...

Re:Snakes... (-1, Redundant)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946555)

Because we have very few species of snakes in Scandinavia. In Sweden there are only three species, and none is especially dangerous.
You guys don't have politicians? Sweet.

Bad Ass Snakes! (3, Informative)

TheRagingTowel (724266) | more than 5 years ago | (#23945919)

The summery looks awfully similar to things CMU has already done - see hack a day [hackaday.com]

Damn robotic snakes! (5, Funny)

LS (57954) | more than 5 years ago | (#23945929)

I want these mutha fuckin robotic snakes out these mutha fuckin complicated industrial pipe systems!

Who else thought... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23945975)

...hey, they named a city after that planet from Speaker for the Dead!

Hsssss.... (-1, Redundant)

davedx (861162) | more than 5 years ago | (#23945999)

I, for one, welcome our new robotic snake overlords!

SLASHDOT FUCKING BLOWS GOATS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23946053)

VA Linux's stock price is finally starting to take off!!!

http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=LNUX#chart2:symbol=lnux;range=my;indicator=volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined

Riiight... like these aren't just expensive dildos (-1, Offtopic)

RexDevious (321791) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946069)

Sure, every girl says to herself, "Ya know, I wish I could somehow combine the boredom of computers, with the terror of snakes". This is as thinly a veiled marketing gimmick as "The back massager" or "T.A.T.U".

Still though, gotta give 'em props. I'm sure my girlfriend would have been pretty pleased if I got a grant to make robotic "snakes". Though I might feel a little inadequate if she requested it use "D-Cell" size batteries. I'm no C-Cell, but I don't think I'm quite a D-cell. Call it 3 cells, and a then a D-cell. Ok, if I'm in the pool we might be talking double A's.

I know, that's kind of is sophomoric. But then again I'm not the one who posted an article about robotic "snakes", am I.

Why Scandinavian, and not Norwegian? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23946105)

Why write Scandinavian, and not Norwegian? Is that just a Britishism?

Re:Why Scandinavian, and not Norwegian? (1)

statemachine (840641) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946195)

From SINTEF's website [sintef.no] :

Locations
SINTEF has approximately 2000 employees, 1300 of which are located in Trondheim and 450 in Oslo. We have offices in Bergen, Stavanger and Ålesund, in addition to offices in Houston, Texas (USA), Skopje (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) and a laboratory in Hirtshals (Denmark). SINTEF's head office is in Trondheim.
Perhaps the submitter didn't want the scientists in Denmark to feel left out?

Re:Why Scandinavian, and not Norwegian? (2, Informative)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946577)

That's actually a misconception however. Denmark is incorrectly labelled as part of Scandinavia, even by supposedly reputable sources. Scandinavia is the peninsula named after the mountain range on it, the Scandic mountains. Ever since Sweden kicked Denmark out of their holdings on the peninsula(Including parts of what is now Sweden, and all of Norway), they haven't been part of Scandinavia.

However, it carries a lot of political inertia, especially when people equate the Nordic Countries(Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland) with Scandinavia.

Just wait... (2, Funny)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946145)

In time, they will miniaturize the things a bit more, and use it to inspect our pipes. I can already picture the nurse saying "Now this is not going to hurt a bit, just bend over and I'll insert this tiny little robotic thing (BoaScope TM), and it'll be over in a minute. If you feel it squirming inside you, it's all perfectly normal, dear."

Re:Just wait... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23947001)

you need help

Re:Just wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23947035)

Don't forget, they also copied the roto-rooter model for cleaning clogged arteries and veins in the circulation system and use them for other micro-surgery, so wouldn't be suprised in they worked on adapting this model as well. Might even use the boa constrictor model for heart massage etc.

Robotic Snakes on a plane.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23946173)

I for one welcome our new robotic snake overlords..

CMU did this a whole while back... (2, Informative)

ulash (1266140) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946197)

Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute built "robots based on snakes" quite a while back. In fact the project description page [cmu.edu] was last updated in November 2006. You can find more info about the project at, funnily enough, SnakeRobot.com [snakerobot.com] with videos.

Hmm... (1)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946205)

So next they'll have to design a robotic mongoose to clean out the robotic snake pipe cleaners when they malfunction and clog up the pipes.

Snakes (1)

dark42 (1085797) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946207)

"The intelligent robots have multiple joints to enable them to twist vertically and climb up through pipe systems to locate leaks in water systems, inspect oil and gas pipelines and clean ventilation systems."

Kind of like the ones on airplanes?

Not new (2, Informative)

egilhh (689523) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946211)

This is not new, actuaclly...

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/22/1849235 [slashdot.org]

Re:Not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23946895)

If you read both articles you'll see that it's SINTEF doing both of them.

But as someone else wrote, snake robots isn't new, just search for videos on youtube. However, I think having a robotic snake climb pipes vertically is a new feature, though.

OMG!!!#$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23946223)

can anyone say anaconda THREE!!!!!!???

Damn Marketspeak (1)

Icarium (1109647) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946261)

I hate it when stories like these refer to thier products as "intelligent". Unless they're claiming to have developed AI, it's just plain inaccurate.

Re:Damn Marketspeak (1)

Lyrael (1196443) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946331)

You know, I clicked on this article expecting to see many rants about this from the /. hive mind. I was disappointed. :(

Dethklok was right... (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946279)

It's gonna take your life tonight
Mechanical reptilian might
Shed it's metal skin and destroy
It's such a better METAL SNAKE

Robotic snakes eh (1)

SheepLauncher (1025544) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946295)

I can see another movie coming.... turbo robotic snakes on a plane of course with half of it written by morons on the internet creating lines with excessive swears.

Might put some people out of work (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946373)

Mike Rowe, I'm looking at you, buddy.

Seriously, if robots are going to be cleaning narrow and inaccessible pipes, what dirty jobs will be left? Aside from animal husbandry (I don't think even robots want to go there).

Re:Might put some people out of work (1)

statemachine (840641) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946491)

Who do you think will clean the robots? Waiting for... Robo-snake technician. It might rival Geoduck farmer.

Death from the sewers (1)

dugeen (1224138) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946463)

Imagine the terror police getting hold of this idea. You'd get these things coming up through your plumbing to kill you.

how is this not.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23946505)

how is this not the same as this:
http://download.srv.cs.cmu.edu/~biorobotics/projects/modsnake/ [cmu.edu]

which i have a hard time not remembering seeing here.

Re:how is this not.... (1)

WingedHorse (1308431) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946657)

All robots aren't the same just because they have a common snakey look. The difference here is that movement method is entirely different.

The inevitable Hollywood blockbuster... (4, Funny)

Attila the Bun (952109) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946629)

..."Snakes in a Drain"

Re:The inevitable Hollywood blockbuster... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#23948339)

Destined to be a "Made for the Scifi Channel" classic just as soon as they can sober up Lorenzo Lamas and put together a Bulgarian film crew.

Old Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23946633)

Carnegie Mellon University's robotics institute has had this technology for a number of years already.

http://download.srv.cs.cmu.edu/~biorobotics/projects/modsnake/

What happens if the snake dies? (1)

MessyBlob (1191033) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946637)

Having a dead snake cluttering up a critical pipe would be no fun! Send in another snake! :o)

I must be strong (0, Offtopic)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946663)

No! I will not do it! I WILL NOT DO IT!!! Somehow, some way, I shall find the moral strength not to succumb.

I WILL NOT denigrate this incredible technology with a cheap, sleazy joke about Pr0n v2.0.

Re:I must be strong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23947171)

Nerd sends his robotic snake to talk with Eve while she is sunbathing in her garden in Eden, North Carolina. News at 11.

Xerox PARC was first again (1)

Larsrc (1285062) | more than 5 years ago | (#23946723)

Already back in 2000, Xerox PARC had a modular robot prototype that could reconfigure itself into various shapes, like a wheel, a spider, or indeed a snake for narrow places. It was wicked cool, and as usual Xerox has failed to profit from it.

-Lars

Video-link here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23946911)

Video showing robo-snake: http://www.aftenposten.no/webtv/?id=10739&cat=112 (Norwegian text). Norwegian story here: http://www.aftenposten.no/forbruker/digital/article2506348.ece

If I were Dr Evil ... (1)

gogebic (1314775) | more than 5 years ago | (#23947657)

If I were Dr Evil (gratuitous wikipedia link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr_Evil [wikipedia.org] ), I would immediately invest 50% of my net worth into robotic snake research.

I would not rest until every man, woman, and child were at constant risk from robot-snake-carried explosives, lasers, poisons, and clenching razor-sharp titanium jaws.

Robotic snakes not just on *a* plane, but on *every* plane.

What an indescribably beautiful day for technology.

They'll never top this, never.

Finally! (1)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 5 years ago | (#23948197)

I can recreate the epic masterpiece of cinematography that was BOA VS PYTHON in the comfort of my own home.

Corretions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23948243)

SINTEF is still a Norwegian research foundation. And Jens Thielemann works on their Oslo department. But I guess the guys in Trondheim make the robots.

Being bored and crawling the walls is one of SINTEF main areas of research, so I guess this is the main component of the robots AI.

Poor snake robots!

Been there, done that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23948347)

Robotic snakes have been in development by many universities/companies for quite a while now, I go to Virginia Tech and I know of at least 2 graduate projects relating to snakes, one is a snake made up of pneumatic 'muscles' and another is a long chain of servos ... oddly, though the pneumatic one is being designed to inspect phone poles and bridges, alot of the guys on the team tell me their goal is to be able to crush a 5 year old with it. (jokingly...I think)

anyways, the lab those snakes are being designed in can be found here http://www.me.vt.edu/romela/RoMeLa/Research.html

one of the cooler things I've seen done with the snake robots is a neat method of control. You can get a piece of fiber optic cable, and when you bend the cable, the snake bends the same way.

In a related story.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23948417)

Mongolian Metalsmiths Make Mechanical Mongoose

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