With nothing more than a puff of air, this creepy robot can manoeuvre itself into an insane variety of places.

/READ MORE // The Mab Sphere Will Swarm/Clean any room with tiny robots

Built by researchers at Stanford University, this robot is essentially a plastic tube connected to an air pump.  It moves by essentially turning itself inside out, and then drawing material from inside itself to extend it’s shape – kind of like those snake-toys from the 1990’s.  A second version employed a chamber on each end, letting the bot to turn.

Robots designed after snakes are nothing new, but this one was different

The Robo-Tube’s design is quite ingenious – it’s outer ‘layer’ remains stationary instead of needing to move or slide around.  In early tests, the robot could extend from  a compressed 11 inches to over 200 feet and was able to carry objects inside itself, such as a length of wire to deliver cable, serve as an antenna, or even carry water to put out a hard-to-reach fire.

Researchers see is as being used to search through rubble, serve as a catheter, or deliver devices inside the human body.

There’s more stories from 2017.  Check out the Best of 2017 series here

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