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Snake-Like Robot Could Explore Saturn's Icy Moon Enceladus

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The robot is made from screws and joints.

A snake-like robot made of giant screws and flexible joints that can travel across hard or loose surfaces and worm into tiny spaces like tubes and tunnels may be key to exploring the interior of Saturns moon Enceladus.

Credit: ARCLab

Researchers in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) have developed a snake-like robot that could facilitate exploration of the interior of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus.

The ARCSnake, parts of which were inspired by previous work on a device for colonoscopies, features flexible joints and uses Archimedes screws to propel itself, can move across hard or loose surfaces and into tiny spaces.

The ARCSnake is operated by a human controller by remotely manipulating a scale model of the robot.

UC San Diego's Florian Richter said NASA wants to use the device on Enceladus "to go down the plume vents and go through these ice caves and collect samples, and we'll feed [data] back to Earth and see what they find."

From New Scientist
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