"When deployed in a search and rescue operation or a surveillance mission (defence-related), snake robots communicate with each other and with a central station from a cyber-physical system through various sensors such as video camera, GPS, Infrared and ultrasonic range finders," Kumar said.
Further, the robots could also touch and identify survivors. "We are working on improving the semi-autonomous performance of snake robot for navigation and haptic feedback for survivor detection. Haptics is the science of applying touch (tactile) sensation and control to interaction with computer applications and the robot would be able to touch and identify survivors," explained Kumar.
The project is part of 'Innovation hub for cyber-physical systems' sponsored by the department of electronics and information technology, ministry of communications and IT. The prototypes have been built with motors sourced from abroad but when manufactured locally, the cost would be around 20,000, he said.