Reserach on snake robots at ROBOTNOR began with the development of Anna Konda. The robot was developed based on the vision of a self-propelled fire hose that can crawl into a burning building and extinguish a fire on its own without putting human fire fighters at risk. The idea behind the robot is to equip a fire hose with water hydraulic actuators that enable it to move like a biological snake. This idea is clever in that the energy that the robot needs in order to move is already available inside the fire hose in the form of pressurized water. Water will actually have three functions in the envisioned system:
1. Fire extinguishing (by extinguishing the fire with water).
2. Cooling (by cooling the robot with water).
3. Hydraulic actuation (by moving the joints of the robot with pressurized water).
In order to demonstrate this concept, we decided to build the water hydraulic snake robot Anna Konda. The robot is, to our knowledge, the world’s only water hydraulic snake robot and was also, at the time of development, the biggest and strongest mobile snake robot ever constructed. Anna Konda is 3 meters long and weighs 75 kg. The water hydraulic actuators that move the joints of the robot are custom-built and give the robot enormous strength. Anna Konda moves like a biological snake and can also raise its head to spray water.