The Spark

A 'reptilian' future for manufacturing?

VIDEO9:5209:52
The Spark: Carnegie Mellon and robotic reptiles!

A "reptilian revolution" has the potential to reshape manufacturing.

The "snakebots" being developed at Carnegie Mellon University aren't just useful for surgical or search-and-rescue purposes. They could also usher in a new, more customized era of mass production.

The snakebot, which is a type of mechanized, biologically inspired robot, itself has roots in Japanese laboratories of the 1970s. What the team at Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Mellon is doing today under professor Howie Choset is making the snakebots stronger, smaller and more maneuverable than ever.