Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems (RMUS) offers a variety of products to the commercial drone industry. Sarcos Robotics, which has spent over 25 years developing robots that assist human workers, is partnering with RMUS to develop an innovative new snake bot.
The new robot was developed to inspect hard to reach or dangerous places, allowing the technician to drive the robot while staying out of harm's way. With many potential applications, the new robot has even been tested for use as a disinfection unit to aid in the COVID-19 epidemic response.
As a robotic aid for humans, the new snake bot can enter confined spaces and those that are inaccessible to human workers, such as air ducts and hazardous areas.
The ‘Snake’ robot is made up of two tracks with a flexible center that can be used to traverse challenging terrain, giving the bot access to places beyond human reach. The snake bot's multiple sensors and six cameras provide the the robot operator with environmental information.
While the design is new, the Snake Robot is an adaptation of the existing concepts used for many medical robots. By functioning as an extension of the operator’s physical abilities, the snake bot allows workers to access spaces that human workers cannot, working with a precision that is superior to human touch.
Presently, the Snake Robot is being used to find HVAC systems leaks. As ducting often runs through ceilings, floors or walls in difficult to reach places, the snake robot can help to locate potential leaks and reduce costs by preventing tear-outs on buildings interiors. With an optional infrared camera mode that allows the bot to see it's surroundings with heat mapping, the snake bot can also finds gas leaks in piping.
With a vision of creating a world where robotics assist people in the workplace rather than replacing them, the partnership between SARCOS and RMUS has led to the development of an innovative new robot with a variety of different applications in HVAC and hazardous inspection industries.