One of the most important functions of the human body is to be able to bend depending on the work we need to do, unlike machines. Robots may be able to do certain things on command but they have always failed at being able to bend and reach for things that only human muscles allow.
Snake-arm is a twist to the concept that was unveiled by OC Robotics and is already being seen as a potential technology to be used in defence and civil aviation industries. On fact, the agile robotic arm has been tested to be strong enough to be used in nuclear facilities where workers are usually exposed to harmful radiation, like in Fukushima. The arm is a self supporting device that is controlled by wires made of steel. These wires run through its moveable links. The arm itself can be attached to lights, cameras, cutting equipments or possibly even ‘intelligent devices’ that make use of sensors.
The Snake-arm looks pretty impressive and eerie at the same time, but one can clearly see where it could be used efficiently. The Snake-arm could prove to be a valuable tool in mines and underground workshops where workers dig through potentially dangerous environs. In fact, the robotic arm has already been used at a nuclear facility in Sweden, which has led to expectations that one day robotic arms which are agile enough would replace human workers employed in hazardous activities.
OC Robotics and others have offered the technology to Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan but they have not received any response from them yet. We had written about a similar Snake Robot which measures an enormous 35-foot. Another example of robots emulating human agility can be witnessed in the Robot that Does Push Ups. Meanwhile, we can only hope that such robotic technology will continue to help workers from having to do hazardous activities.