A snakebot, also known as snake robot, is a biomorphic hyper-redundant robot that resembles a biological snake. Snake robots come in many shapes and sizes, from the four stories long, earth quake snakebot developed by SINTEF, to a medical snakebot developed at Carnegie Mellon University that is thin enough to maneuver around organs inside a human chest cavity.
Though snakebots can vary greatly in size and design, there are two qualities that all snakebots share. First, their small cross section to length ratio allows them to move into, and maneuver through, tight spaces. Second, their ability to change the shape of their body allows them to perform a wide range of behaviours, such as climbing stairs or tree trunks.
Additionally, many snake robots are constructed by chaining together a number of independent links. This redundancy makes them resistant to failure, because they can continue to operate even if parts of their body are destroyed. Properties such as high terrainability, redundancy,and the possibility of complete sealing of the body of the robot, make snake robots very interesting for practical applications and hence as a research topic.
Snake robots have been used in the Israel Defense Forces from 2009.