A confined space needs snake shapes to achieve access. Confined spaces exist by design (aircraft engine), by failure (collapsed building) or naturally (human body). Snake-arm robots are self-contained portable devices and extensions to existing systems. These products build on software and hardware technology.
Confined spaces exist. A confined space exists because of a lack of ability to take apart or dismantle components. Confined spaces exist in nuclear reactors, aircraft, the human body, industrial processing plant, underwater environments, ship-building, space. Buildings, roads, pipelines and other man-made spaces all have confined spaces. The world is full of awkward confined spaces.
Snake robots are robotic arms used in industrial applications, but the arms are more versatile and move independently because of the jointed structure. Snake robots have a variety of applications. They are implemented as industrial arm robots, surgical minimally invasive devices, and for the military provide unique reconnaissance opportunities. The snake robots are the ultimate in an all-terrain units, they can go anywhere, even under doors and over mountains, in a way that no wheeled vehicle can maneuver.
According to Susan Eustis, lead author of the study, “Snake robots have a variety of applications. They are implemented as industrial arm robots, surgical minimally invasive devices, and for the military provide unique Snake robot markets are set to grow at a rapid pace. Markets at $46 million are anticipated to reach $8.5 billion by 2017. The reasons for strong growth are that the technology is proven, there are 100 successful reference accounts in a variety of industries, and the technology is useful.
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