At Carnegie Mellon, those masters-of-the-robo-universe have a dedicated lab for studying snake locomotion and applying it to robots that can swim, climb telephone poles and wriggle up walls.

Snakes serve as fine models for robot mobility thanks to their many internal degrees of freedom; each segment of their bodies can move independently, creating a wave of motion that can traverse terrain that wheeled and legged ‘bots can’t.

For more on snakebot locomotion, see our Q&A and tour of roboticist Amir Shapiro’s lab. Just don’t do it right before bedtime.

[Carnegie Mellon’s Modsnake LabM via Boing Boing Gadgets]