Sensor-filled Guardian S snakebot can even slither vertically up walls

Have a reconnaissance job that’s too dangerous or difficult to access to send in a person? Maybe it’s time to deploy a snake robot!

That’s what Utah-based robotics company Sarcos has developed with Guardian S, a rugged, waterproof snakebot that’s capable of shimmying across virtually any type of terrain, through thin pipes, and up stairs. Heck, it can even rear up like a cobra, or crawl directly up walls, courtesy of its magnetized body.

“Most current ground-based mobile robots have limited mobility over challenging terrain, substantially more limited range, shorter battery life, and significantly more weight,” Sarcos chairman and CEO Ben Wolff told Digital Trends. “The Guardian S represents not just an improvement, but a quantum leap forward, in unmanned ground vehicle platforms. [It’s] designed for mobility and is adept at traversing difficult terrain, fitting into confined spaces with openings 5 inches or more, that are inaccessible by humans and other ground-based robots, and climbing vertically or up stairs.”

The Guardian S snakebot is able to do this thanks to its unique design. While many previous robotics solutions have been designed with a two-track, tank-like configuration, the Guardian S utilizes forward and rear tracks and an articulated center section that provides much greater mobility. It can run for up to 18 hours, and is controlled using a video game-style controller.

As it travels, Guardian S gathers data using its various sensors, which include infrared, radiation, gas and vibration detection, GPS, accelerometer, 3D mapping, and 360-degree video with low-light capabilities.

But while it sounds like the greatest robot toy ever, Wolff noted that the Guardian S is really designed for serious purposes. Those might be applications including SWAT, explosive ordinance disposal, HAZMAT, fire, or disaster recovery — basically any scenario in which it’s not safe or desirable to deploy a human being.

In essence, it’s the ultimate robot of its kind — although don’t expect it to be cheap. Sarcos is currently taking pre-orders, with the base price coming in at $60,000, and further customization costing extra. The company is additionally considering a $2,000 per month price tier, which would include upgrades, training, and the like. The Guardian S will commence shipping (or should we say “slithering”) in August.

That’s not the only astonishing robot Sarcos has developed, though. It has also created an amazing Guardian GT robot, a human-controlled, force-multiplying robotic dual-armed system that allows users to lift payloads of up to 1,000 pounds at a time. Another project in development is a full bodysuit exoskeleton, designed to improve human strength and endurance.

Needless to say, we probably haven’t heard the last of this innovative company.


Walmart slashes prices on iRobot Roomba and Shark Ion robot vacuums

Walmart slashed prices of top robot vacuums from iRobot, Shark, Eufy, and Ecovacs just in time for spring cleaning season.  With a robot vacuum on the job you can retire that old upright and let a robot vacuum take over floor-cleaning…

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Emerging Tech

Trip to Neptune’s moon, Triton, could inform search for extraterrestrial life

NASA has proposed sending a craft to Neptune to study its largest moon, Triton. Studying Triton could offer clues to how liquid water is maintained on planets, which may indicate what to look for when searching for life beyond our planet.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover passes its tests with flying colors

The Mars 2020 rover team has been undertaking a series of tests to see if the craft will be able to launch, navigate, and land on the Red Planet. Called Systems Test 1, or ST1, these tests represent the first test drive of the new rover.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Petzl to Tikkid, here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

A hive of activity: Using honeybees to measure urban pollution

According to a new study from Vancouver, bees could help us understand urban pollution. Scientists have found an innovative way to measure the level of source of pollution in urban environments: by analyzing honey.
Emerging Tech

Spacewalk a success as astronauts upgrade batteries on the ISS

The International Space Station was treated to some new batteries on Friday, thanks to two NASA astronauts who took a spacewalk for nearly seven hours in order to complete the upgrades.
Emerging Tech

Asteroid Ryugu is porous, shaped like a spinning top, and is formed of rubble

The Japanese Space Agency has been exploring a distant asteroid named Ryugu with its probe, Hayabusa 2. Now the first results from study of the asteroid are in, with three new papers published.
Emerging Tech

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a super-speedy pulsar

A super-speedy pulsar has been spotted dashing across the sky, discovered using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Very Large Array. The pulsar is traveling at a breathtaking 2.5 million miles an hour.
Emerging Tech

Chilean telescope uncovers one of the oldest star clusters in the galaxy

An ultra-high definition image captured by the Gemini South telescope in Chile has uncovered one of the oldest star clusters in the Milky Way. The cluster, called HP 1, could give clues to how our galaxy was formed billions of years ago.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers discover giant chimneys spewing energy from the center of the galaxy

Astronomers have discovered two exhaust channels which are funneling matter and energy away from the supermassive black hole at the heart of our galaxy and out towards the edges of the galaxy, dubbed galactic center chimneys.