These Robo-Snakes Climbing Ladders are the Stuff of Nightmares

Despite being creepy, these robotic snake systems could one day be used on search and rescue missions.
Shelby Rogers

"Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?" Indiana Jones probably wouldn't be a fan of this snake-like robot capable of climbing stairs. But this robotic snake from a team of Japanese researchers could be more far more functional than terrifying. 

This simple robot snake is a long articulated tube that researchers hope can used in a variety of applications. The snake resulted from a joint project between Kyoto University and the University of Electro-Communications in Japan. 

As the researchers explained in the video, the snake was designed by connecting simple shapes in a smooth exterior package. This smooth package allows the snake to slither easily up a ladder. The teams also developed a new actuation system to easily twist the body and allow it to securely wrap the snake around each rung.