We had to laugh about this robot from Georgia Tech. To design it, researchers put snakes on a plane — an inclined surface — and watched them slither.
The result is actually cool: a robot that can climb up an inclined surface, called Scalybot 2, which mimics the rectilinear motion of snakes. It would not have been possible without the placement of some snakes on a plane.
Snake-like robots are nothing new -- for instance, Virginia Tech has developed some pretty amazing pole-climbing snakebots, and the Israeli military has a weaponized recon 'bot in the works -- but the U.S. Army Research Lab is taking military snakebots to a new level. Its Robotic Tentacle Manipulator is using snakebot tech to develop a scalable system in which several robots work in unison to manipulate objects.