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In pictures: Robot menagerie
Snake tracks

In 1972 Professor Hirose was the first person to develop a functioning “snake robot”.

Flexible snake robots are useful because they can slither and manoeuvre through tight spaces, making them suited for search and rescue operations, for example.

He had to follow the first prototype with a trolley holding its batteries, as the power units were too large to incorporate into the body.

“It is still the robot of which I am most proud,” he said.

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