Home News New inventions: UncleSam, the modular snake-like robot climbs trees and reproduces itself!

New inventions: UncleSam, the modular snake-like robot climbs trees and reproduces itself!


Hello dear readers,

As robots and robotic science are gaining more and more interest nowadays, it is not unexpected to find a great deal of research is made for improving them, this is made because of the wide variatey of uses for robots.Robots are used in anything starting from Roomba, the robot to clean your home and not ending with Boston Dynamics military robots!

Boston Dynamics Big Dog Military Robot
Boston Dynamics Big Dog Military Robot

In the past there were plenty of films presenting those robots with unlimited capabilities that are going to destroy the human kind.There were some features of such an evil robot: it can move in a very human-like or animal-like way, it can reproduce and repair itself and of course it can detect and recognize anything fast and accurately.

As a great deal is made and is being made in recognition, there was other problems that scientists and engineers have to overcome: How can we make our robot move better? and how can it repair itself and be more and more independent.

Superbot modular robot
Superbot modular robot

Today we introduce a weird methodology for solving this problem which have many applications and can revolutionize robot capabilities, the modular robots is what we are going to present in this report, so keep reading to know how can it make and entirely new generation of robots that will no doubt enable us to make things were really far even from imagination!

Main points of the report.

  • Introduction.
  • What is modular robot?
  • Why modular robots are different?
  • Applications of modular robot.
  • UncleSam, a modular snake robot.
  • Conclusion.
  • Watch UncleSam modular robot in action.

What is modular robot?

A modular robot is a robot consisting of a number of units, each unit can be an independent robot by itself, those units can connect and act together like one thing.This really reminds me – as a researcher in computer science – with the concept of a linked list.

The linked list is a data structure which contains some objects inside, all those objects are similar, i think the researchers there is Carnegie Mellon university was inspired by something like this.

Why modular robots are different?

A modular robot – by its nature – has a very interesting feature.As modular robots ar consisting from similar units, so if a unit of them was damaged, then it can be removed and so the entire robot will continue functioning the same way!

This shows the main feature, and also shows why it is called modular!

The other feature is that it can replace modules ( units ) with each other, so a modular robot can change its shape!

Superbot modular robot reshape
Superbot modular robot reshape

But how can we consider changing shape is a good feature?

If a normal robot ( some robot like the terminator! ) was chasing a thief, then the thief hides in a narrow place for the robot size, then a robot of fixed size can not enter and catch him, the thief may also escape, but a modular robot can easily change his shape to fit for that narrow place and catch or fire!

Applications of modular robots.

Another interesting scenario where modular robots beat non-modular robots is where it comes to mobility.A normal robot may be designed to walk on wheels or on legs.It is a trivial task to make a robot like this climb the stairs but it is already made anyway in some robots like Asimo and Boston Dynamics military robot like Petman and Atlas.

But did robot manufacturers even thought about situations like if there was a need for their robot to climb a tree? in a situation like this again modular robots beat non-modular ones, that’s because modular robots can made very versatile set of movements because of its modular nature and this ability to make such movements increases while the number of modules ( units ) increase.

As a practical application of these features think of what can those modular robots do for us in situations like hunting for survivors in fallen buildings after natural disasters!

Medical guard robots.

The applications also may extend to other unpredictable ones, imagine that we can make those modular robots much smaller that the units was microscopic, then it can do massive work and improvements inside your body, this will be much more better of using non-modular robots in the same way that’s because modular robots can reshape and can easily throw any damaged part away without affecting its function a lot!

UncleSam, the modular snake-like robot.

unclesam modular robot
unclesam modular robot

Because of these clear features of modular robots, researchers of the bio-robotics lab there in Carnegie Mellon university started their research to make a snake-like modular robot.

They have successfully produced their scaring creature, a modular robot inspired from the snake which is one of the most ancient and powerful creatures on earth, it is called UncleSam and it is presumably named for its blue,red and white markings.

Features of UncleSam modular snake-like robot.

As a modular robot, UncleSam is capable of reshaping itself and replacing damaged parts with others without a need for a human, so it can be definitely used in military purposes.

unclesam modular robot climb tree
unclesam modular robot climb tree

In the future we may see some medical robots ( that are intended to be injected inside your blood ) that works the modular way, who knows!


As robots and robotics science are making a continuous and unimaginable progress, it will make a real ( and another ) revolution, so this makes me remember a word said by a researcher in MIT ( in a documentary about the Artificial Intelligence revolution by Micho Kaku on BBC ), “The big loser in this revolution are those nations that say lets wait and use other’s inventions and discoveries “.


I really aim to spread the word, the way which can provide prosperity for developing nations is learning and practicing computer science, making new inventions and discoveries is this field and what makes it very suitable for them is that computer science is one of those science that can produce things many people will like to pay you for, so it will make money for developing countries faster than any other investment!

If you think that it is hard to find a funder for your invention in technological field, please take a look on this blog about

Modular robots Conclusion
Modular robots Conclusion


Watch UncleSam in action.


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