I finally got around to editing together a video of my robot snake named Serpentronic. The goal of this project was to design and build a robot snake that could move much like its biological counterpart. This robot has the ability to explore autonomously, avoid obstacles using an infrared sensor and can also be guided by radio control. A robot snake is ideal for traversing rough terrain and keeping a low profile. This robot has many applications such as exploration, reconnaissance missions, remote sensing in hostile areas, land mine detection, and maintenance work inside narrow passageways.
Length: 28 inches
Height: 2.5 inches Width: 2.5 inches Processor: Microchip Pic 16F84A\20
Sensor: Single channel infrared mounted on head
Construction: Light weight Aluminum. 6 body segments plus head and tail
Actuators: 6 Standard R/C servos
Power source: one 9-volt and 6-volt battery packs
Notes: The robot has the ability to scan the area for obstacles in front, and
to its sides by lifting the first segment and then moving the head from side to
side while taking sensor readings.
The snake consists of 6 segements and a head, with each segment being powered by an R\C servo. The segments alternate in orientation so that the first segment moves in a horizontal direction and the next segment moves in a vertical direction. This sequence repeats itself for all 6 segments and the head. This gives the snake enough flexibility to move its body segments through sequences that achieve locomotion in much the same way that a biological snake does. The microcontroller is used to sequence the movement of each of the body segments via servos. To produce a forward movement, the snake moves its body in a sine wave pattern vertically with a slight side to side movement of the horizontal segements. When the robot is turning, the same sine wave pattern occurs in the vertical moving body segments but the snakes body will also need to oscillate between the middle position and a position where the body is arched to the left or right, depending which way it is turning. Rubber gripper pieces were added to the underside of the snakes body to give it resistance against the ground.
This is one of the robots featured in my book titled, "Amphibionics: Build Your Own Biologically Inspired Robot", published by McGraw-Hill. For more information check out http://www.thinkbotics.com/serpentronic.htm