Scientists develop robotic sidewinder snake to help search and rescue missions

October 10, 2014 9:09 PM

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“The work of Marvi et al. demonstrates the strength of integrating biology, engineering, and physics, providing the finest example to date of the reciprocal use of animals and robots for mutual illumination. The drive to understand the mechanics of sidewinding has brought us one step closer to achieving lifelike locomotion in robots.” That was a commentary written by John Socha, Virginia Tech, in a study on making sidewinder snake robots for search and rescue operations.

For years scientists have always been baffled at the ability of sidewinder rattlesnakes, Crotalus cerastes, to move effortlessly across sandy surfaces like dunes, both flat and inclined. Most common in the sandy deserts of the Southern United States and northwestern Mexico, the sidewinder rattlesnak...

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