Never since the Carry On films have so many double entendres been made by so few.
Scientists say their new snake robot has cracked the tricky problem of slithering up slippery mounds. The trouser(ed) snake robot This undeniable pushing-back of the frontiers of science comes to us courtesy of Professor Daniel Goldman's Complex Rheology And Biomechanics Lab ("the Crab Lab") at the Georgia Institute of …
The sidewinder dune performance is "Meh..". They should try to sticker the reflective material to Macrovipera lebetina. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrovipera_lebetina aka Gurza.
By the way compared to it the sidewinder (and most rattlesnakes for that matter) are as docile and friendly as the bearded lizzard in the school pet "corner".
It also moves over dunes in a slightly different (and much faster and more efficient) manner.
..if you're based in North America, you might find North African sand vipers surprisingly uncommon.
And increasingly nasty temperaments in your test bunny snakes may not be an unmitigated blessing.
p.s. I don't see anything about the snakes 'stiffening'. I thought the Reg was above titillating headlines.
How about this instead:
"Robot trouser snake lengthens to slither up slippery mounds".
Looking at the picture of the mechanical/robot snake that what is happening is the lower point of contact of the top bend is pushing the sand back to form a hump and support forward motion whilst the upper point of contact of the bottom bend is holding the sand forming that hump in place keeping it stable in excess of what would be 'close to the angle of maximum slope stability' to enable the overall solution to work at that angle. I might speculate that a sidewinder in motion can traverse a slope that is greater than one it might be able to remain stationary on.
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