Robotic Arm Can Reach Into Cupboards
A new “snake-arm,” created by engineers in Britain to assist the military may also be used in homes in the near future.
Made by OC Robotics of Bristol, the snake-arm can be equipped with cameras and tools, and uses its wires and actuators to grasp objects in confined areas, making it suitable for constructing and checking airplane parts, notes OC Robotics CEO Rob Buckingham.
Currently, the firm is working with the United States and British military to incorporate the snake-arm into bomb-disposal robots. An iRobot PackBot outfitted with a snake-arm, for example, would be able to look underneath a vehicle for explosive gadgets.
Buckingham also expects to talk this week with other scientists and investors in Cambridge, MA, to look into ways the invention can be used in the home. A snake-arm robot, for instance, might be able to access cupboards and obtain an item inside, without knocking anything else over.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Boston Globe (05/14/07); Baard, Michael.