Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence: Robo-snake SERP is out | Robotics set to play key role during low-intensity conflicts in India

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Robo-snake SERP is out | Robotics set to play key role during low-intensity conflicts in India

 By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: The robo-snake SERP is here, sans the hiss! Out of the lab-hole to undertake roaming trials, Indian scientists are confident of releasing it on smart missions soon. Inspired by biological snakes which uses its entire body for locomotion, Bangalore-based Centre for Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) developed SERP capable of carrying variety of sensors and tools suitable for military and civilian operations.
This robo-reptile makes use of 18 independently-controllable joints, battery as power source and a wireless camera for visual feedback. The electronic controller on the robot generates wave motion for locomotion. It has various locomotion gaits which include lateral undulation, side winding and caterpillar gait as observed in the biological snakes. In addition, the robot has unique methods of locomotion not found in nature such as whole body roll and helix gaits.
“The SERP can be easily maneuvered inside narrow opening which are inaccessible by other locomotion techniques. It can relay a video to remote location through its onboard camera. It can be used in search and rescue operations during earthquakes to find survivors under debris. It can be made to sneak into buildings to obtain situational awareness during low-intensity conflict (LIC) operations,” CAIR sources said. Presently, CAIR is working on advanced version of robo-snake with higher maneuverability and payload carrying capacity.
With homeland security becoming prime concern for India, specialized forces trained to deal with terrorist attacks have become much in demand. From the lessons learnt from 26/11 attack in Mumbai, the National Security Guard and Anti-Terrorism Squad are in need of specialized equipment to deal with LIC operations.
“Robots are one such tool which should be available to specialized forces for gathering situational awareness without directly exposing themselves to the enemy fire. The robots can transmit videos during day and night to the commanders located away from the combat zone. They can be fitted with detectors to sniff out the presence of explosive devices and can be mounted with non-lethal weapons to momentarily paralyze the enemy,” sources said.
Today, CAIR’s robot menu includes those capable of climbing wall, stair and walk with hybrid-legged wheels. “The wall-climbing robot can be maneuvered along the external walls of the building and peek inside windows. The stair-climbing robot can be guided inside building to various floors to get a picture of the scenarios. If easy access is not possible then snake robot can sneak inside through pipes and other narrow openings,” say CAIR scientists.
For perimeter surveillance, CAIR’s 'smart sentry robot' can be called in for duty, which can autonomously patrol along a designated path inside a campus while relaying a continuous video feed.
(Copyright@The New Indian Express)
(The story is being uploaded on to Tarmak007 a day late.)
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