Robots can take on all kinds of animal- and human-inspired shapes. We have cheetahs, sand fleas and fish. But if you want a robot to get into small spaces humans can't access, the snake is the way to go.
"They could be used for pipe inspection, or there's a small one to do minimally invasive surgery like a laparoscope," said Howie Choset, a professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, who makes snake robots a specialty.
Snake robots have shown they can do search-and-rescue operations -- something that would have gone a long way at the recent building collapse in Bangladesh. They can also do surgery, shoot lasers, clean toxins out of water and even fight fires. Here are eight snake robots with unique skills.