Robot snake goes on display

A unique robotic snake developed by Plymouth-based Merlin Robotics working alongside Nottingham Trent University is to go on display at the London Science Museum’s DANA centre in April 2008.

The vertical snake, designed to function as an interactive artwork, includes two technologies which Merlin claims are a world first. The muscle activation technology uses built-in air valves which enable greater control and scope for movement. The snake’s absolute optical position linear sensors are bus addressable and less susceptible to magnetic interference. The mechanism can also be implemented into commercial applications.

The snake was first unveiled at the Emergent Objects & Performance Design Symposium, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Engineering and Physical sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Dr Philip Breedon of the College of Art and Design at NottinghamTrentUniversity said: ‘Merlin Robotics have been excellent partners to work with. Their approach and experience related to soft robotics enabled us to explore and develop challenging new ideas and concepts in advanced robotics. Merlin continues to provide excellent technical support as we further refine and develop this project.’