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Drones don’t just fly. Here’s one that crawls inside sewer pipes.

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Brian Fung
Washington Post
August 13, 2013

They call it the Pipe Snake.

Designed to infiltrate a building’s plumbing system, the Pipe Snake can navigate everything from steep, vertical climbs to elbow-curves. But its primary purpose isn’t to neutralize bad guys. In fact, it’s one of a growing class of unmanned tools designed to help first-responders reach trapped disaster victims.

In the midst of a natural disaster, getting information about who or what may be inside a downed building can be unsafe. So Lt. Kyle Fitle and David Carte, who graduated this year from the U.S. Air Force Academy, decided to MacGyver their way to a solution.

The result involves a telescoping metal rod with extendable arms coming out from the sides. The arms are equipped with pads that grip the walls of a sewage pipe, while a built-in motor alternately retracts the arms and extends the rod to push it forward while another set of arms holds the snake in place.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

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