After Hours

Images: Snakes on a fire truck

The idea behind the robot snake is to equip a fire hose with water hydraulic valves and actuators that make it capable of moving forward like a biological snake. However, plain water contains corrosive and poor lubricating properties--making it a challenge to build miniature hyrdraulic components to work over an extended period, says Pal Liljeback, Sintef spokesman for the Snakefighter Project. Therefore, engineers are custom-building small water hydraulic valves that are used to move each joint in the snake robot.


By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...