Snake-arm robots move without disturbing the scene and can go where no person wants to go.
OC Robotics has recently completed a contract with the US Department of Defense. Read our press release: OC Robotics delivers 1/2" diameter snake-arm robot.
The case study below describes how OC Robotics worked with the UK Ministry of Defence to design a robot capable of remote car inspection.
Remote vehicle inspection
In April 2003, OC Robotics signed a contract with the UK Ministry of Defence to build a 2.5m long snake-arm robot able to carry a payload of 25kg.
Where a rigid-link robot is restricted by the "elbows" in its arms, a snake-arm can follow its nose to reach through small gaps and around narrowly spaced obstacles. This makes it ideal for getting into awkward spaces.
In early 2005 OC Robotics successfully demonstrated the capability of the arm to reach into a car through an open window. The arm reached through the driver's window to the back seat of the car where an object was viewed through the tip-mounted camera. The contract also stated that the arm must be strong enough to tow a car. OC Robotics snake-arms are axially strong because of the high loading ability of the wires running along their length so the 95mm diameter arm was able to tow a car with ease.