Robotic snakes could soon replace dogs in search for earthquake survivors

A new robotic snake could soon replace sniffer dogs in searching for people trapped under collapsed buildings.

Created by Pinwei Jin as part of his masters degree study at Waikato University, the snake uses an onboard camera to find its way.

Mr Jin says it's designed to explore the narrow, uneven and dangerous spaces under rubble for survivors.

"The camera uses bluetooth to transmit the images and we can receive the images on a laptop," says Mr Jin.

The next step, he says, is to build a bigger, sturdier version.

"We will assemble another snake robot that's a little bit shorter and the diameter of the robot is wider and we will add two legs on each side."

He's also got his sights set on increasing the range of movement.

Engineering masters degree supervisor Chikit Au says the snake is a mashup of various bugs.

"It can move like a caterpillar, up and down, and it can move like a worm, contract and extend and contract and extend," said Mr Au.

The new reptilian rescuers are designed to explore narrow, uneven and dangerous spaces under rubble. Source: 1 NEWS

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