Snakebots are robots shaped like a snake. Snakebots are coming out of labs to be used for many different purposes, including heart surgery. Robots have been used as surgical tools for several years, so a serpentine shape just gives a robot advantages in maneuverability.

Snakebots of various sizes are also being developed with specialized applications in mind, like firefighting and rescue missions. Micro-sized snakebots to swim through blood vessels are one application, but for public acceptance the name is a drawback. Who relishes the thought of snakes crawling around in their innards?

For example, students at MIT developed a “colonic robot” 18 years ago. The purpose of this thing was to crawl up you seeking enemy polyps to destroy. Of course, news of this made the rounds quickly, but the project quietly died. The students working on it moved on. One issue was finding volunteers for the alpha test of this system. Some mindsets are really hard to break, even for technophiles.

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