It appears that engineers draw a lot of inspiration from snakes when it comes to robots. We’ve already shown you snake-inspired machines that dig through sand and soil, snake-like robots that may even be deployed in emergencies, and snake robots that fix pipes on the ocean floor.
Robots that are thin, adaptable, and extensible
According to a university press release, a group at the University of Toronto Mississauga under the direction of Jessica Burgner-Kahrs, head of the Continuum Robotics Lab, is currently developing extremely thin, adaptable, and extendable robots that medical professionals might utilize to save lives. They accomplish this by entering challenging locations.
“Imagine a neurosurgeon doing a brain tumor removal. The surgeon must follow a direct path through the brain to the malignant mass while using a conventional, hard surgical tool, risking injuring important tissue in the process, claim the researchers in a news release.
Burgner-Kahrs imagines a time when one of her snake-like robots could travel around crucial tissue while yet getting to the precise surgical spot under the control of a surgeon. Brain cancers that were previously incurable might unexpectedly become treatable.
This is a significant accomplishment that could one day transform the medical sector. Even models that are semi-autonomous and may one-day self-direct are being developed by the researchers.
Robots may employ sensors to avoid obstructions in their path, but surgeons would still need to direct them in the appropriate direction. The innovation would simplify and secure surgery.
The researchers’ work is guided by three questions.
Burgner-Kahrs claims that she bases her work on attempting to address the following three questions to accomplish this challenging goal:
How can we program continuum robots to navigate challenging surroundings even more precisely?
How can we create a robot-human interface that is simpler to use? Can a robot become entirely autonomous?
How can we work together to accomplish a goal using several continuum robots?
Additionally, the scientist and her group are working with brand-new snake robot designs that are even more flexible and dexterous. One current design is origami-inspired, which makes it exceedingly light and able to extend up to ten times further than prior models. Because of this, it is perfect for search and rescue operations.
There is no doubt that snake robots can have a wide range of purposes and can be made in many sizes and shapes. This implies that their potential is not confined to a single sector. The creation of these multifunctional devices may ultimately simplify a lot of difficult chores in our lives.