Picture of Make a swimming Robo-Snake
Sneel is the name of my snake / eel swimming robot. This is documentation of hardware, software and mechanical design of  Sneel_003.  

urethane flex tubing, microcontrollers, Zigbee wireless radio, hose clamps, wires, servo motors, titanium servo brackets, silicon, marine grease, epoxy, pond pump

Sneel is a swimming robotic water-snake, constructed to explore lifelike, sinuous motion in an aquatic robot. It is designed to navigate unknown territory and extreme terrain.

Sneel is inspired by Protei, (protei.org), an international project for the design of a fleet of open source, robotic, unmanned sailboats. Sneel is a development of Protei_007.

Sneel_003 swimming in San Francisco, California, Spreckles Lake, Golden Gate Park:

Sneel is an open-source, biomimetic, locomotive, aquatic robot. The electromechanical design of Sneel mimics the structure and motion of a real water snake, as a test to explore swimming behavior in an undulating linear robot. The inspiration for Sneel originates from a fascination with reptilian forms of motility and the implications of modelling hardware from biological structures and functions. Sneel uses a custom-written software library to propagate an oscillating wave down a line of servo motors that comprise the robot’s body. The current model is a platform for the development of other low-cost snake drones, with semi-autonomous navigational control for waypoint following, and sensing capabilities for obstacle avoidance. Worldwide applications for Sneel include remote marine data collection of salinity / toxicity levels, nuclear level monitoring, pipeline or underwater exploration, fishery monitoring, and oil-collection.

Sneel version 2 swimming like a real snake:

Sneel version 2, first swim in central park:

Command-A3 months ago

I don't care how creepy your robot it, I love it!

holy crap! amazing!!!!

tanyaryanns4 months ago

great post!

jamesbrosuk6 months ago

I'd like to see this with a camouflaged skin and head

hmmm creepy looks like a hydrobot from Terminator http://terminator.wikia.com/wiki/Hydrobot this is how it begins people!
rjverm1 year ago
for any mobile robot power conservation is essential. if i were going to build a a water mobile robot i would probably use a water pump or a propeller type motor. and put it in a pvc pipe.
sparten113 years ago
all you need now is the ability to dive... perhaps if you use gravity to cause the swimming motion my diving and surfacing you could also add longevity to the swim time.

just a thought good job keep up the good work.

A ballast system of some sort... Maybe a remotely controlled intake connected to a tube that you can remotely open the front, and the rear port of the tube is an outlet only valve. Open the intake to let in water and make the device heavier so that it descends.

Use an electrical current to evaporate the water in it to "add" ballast. Something to test in a pool to see battery drain, I'm not sure how long batteries would hold up to it. Sounds like a decent theory to me.

PS. I mentioned a tube because i think flooding the device would be entirely too risky for the amount of money that would go into it.
I think if you added a tank (or multiple outlet tubes) to the pump, then another pump to empty that tank/tubes you could use the first to take on water and sink and the other to empty the tank or both as forward propulsion but all of this would greatly reduce the longevity but for some applications like marine life monitoring that would probably be acceptable.
using tubes means this could still be placed on the outside in a streamlined manour
But other than that protei and your sneel is awsome keep them coming
tkovar132 years ago
they stopped making the red brackets for anyone know if this is a good alternative? http://www.engagerc.com/servlet/the-2619/2-dsh-DOF-pan-and-tilt/Detail
avan diepen2 years ago
electronics are around 400$
roopan raj2 years ago
tell me the overall price....
wow, that's great!!
alij283 years ago
is it possible to make it go under the water?
akbar83 years ago
افرین خیلی عالیه بود
-chase-3 years ago
That's pretty cool!

My immediate thought of wondering  is if I make a dozen or so of these,add a tail fin and harness them all up - would they pull my raft around the lake like a Medusa hair driven water sled....hmmm,  have to ponder that some more..
MakingWorld3 years ago
It feast my eyes.How do you prevent the ingress of water?
....Not to mention the militaristic applications for this "Robo Snake".
JayGeeBSE3 years ago
If you want to detect people falling in pools then an alarm detecting waves might be a lot simpler and more effective. Love the snake as a toy though, with possible applications where a propellor might get caught in weed.
Wonderful device, but please explain the pump. Why? When?
Quester553 years ago
Just one more Idea that works for me, Try to find some DIP IT , A Liquid Plastic that Air Drys for a Tight, Water proof Covering, That can be Removed Cleanly when needed. Also, Liquid Tape for those Mother boards and connectors. When done you'll save yourself about 4 to 12 OZ, on overall weight.
That's all, Like I said before, Your's is a great snake, Keep on Learning!
P/S, Remember this; " Good, Better, Best, Never let them rest, until your Good is Better & your Better is Best !
Quester553 years ago
F.Y.I., Sea Grease is fine, on Big Boats, But not small models, Try Mixing the best of two worlds by Combining 1/4 cup Sea Grease and 2 Liquid Oz. of Slick 50 Motor oil, Put in a mini blender, set to combine and walk away for about 5 min. when time is up, it will be warm, cool it down to room temp and apply to all joints that move.
I did this on some of my Boats and Subs and got around an 8% better RPM on my engines. It wasn't bothered by the Water temp at all.
Quester553 years ago
Have you considered adding Solar cells and wireless color mini cameras to the snake? Allowing power to be provided from the solar cells. the same for Neon Wire, for those night time bits of fun. Another power type could be" 3V. Lithium battery's ", Stacked in groups of 4, and Charged by Solar Cells, When resting.
Very cool snake.
Kinnishian3 years ago

This awesome.
how much did it cost you?
rimar20003 years ago
Nice beast!
this looks great! I'd love to see it in action!
lafnbear3 years ago
OK, watch for a sudden up-tick in Loch Ness monster-like sightings!
Congrats on publishing a conceptual foundation for future inventors!
Swimming snakebots could be useful as unattended pool monitors, alerting adults if a child falls in. Every second counts in a rescue.

Imagine the lifesaving applications of this kind of monitoring bot.
Residential swimming pools.
Clubhouse pools.
City recreation center pools.
Lake and pond swimming areas.
Boat dock areas.