How about we put that in an innovative light? Today we Ever Widening Circles brings you the story of robots with the advantages of a snakes.

Now here’s an idea that is truly “outside the box!” This innovation, which uses nature for inspiration, is just one incredible example of biomimicry; a growing field of science at the intersection of engineering, design, and biology.

First, a quick look at where we are going today…

What is the potential for the snake robot?

Consider the many dirty jobs that, performed by humans, endanger lives, or jobs that require access to small spaces, spaces that even conventional robots, with limbs or wheels, could never access. Consider the possibility for assisting in minimally-invasive surgery, for inspection of power plants, for aiding in search and rescue efforts, in archaeological digs.

When one considers the many fields of work and disciplines of study in which we humans are engaged, and the number of associated problems we are trying to solve, it becomes clear that the snake robot has a lot of potential indeed!

Why should we care?

Most importantly, inventions like the snake robot remind us to look to nature in our search for solutions to our many problems.

Think about it for a moment: humans have been perking along, solving problems with clever inventions since the dawn of simple machines like the wheel. That’s about 5,500 years. But Mother Nature has been barreling along, solving every challenge an organism can face on this earth for 3.5 billion years!

That’s a lot of “research and development” and “institutional knowledge” that we can tap into!

And that’s essentially what the new field of science I mentioned – called “Biomimicry”, or in professional circles, “Biomemetics” – is doing to make the world a better place.