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Slinky swimming snake robot has the undersea moves

This robot twists and twines under the water like a snake -- which is a good thing, since it's based on the real thing.

Autonomous underwater vehicles are opening up the aquatic domains in more detail than ever before. However, current drone technology is still limited in a few ways, one of which is size, shape and flexibility.

With a swimming snake robot, Norwegian engineering company Kongsberg Maritime believes, we could access, survey and monitor hard-to-reach areas.

Together with Norwegian University of Science and Technology spin-off company Eelume and petroleum company Statoil, Kongsberg is developing a sea snake-inspired robot that will reside permanently on the seabed, monitoring underwater equipment and performing maintenance tasks such as adjusting valves -- tasks that are relatively simple to perform, but difficult for humans to access. This should greatly reduce the cost of subsea operations, the team believes.