Market Analyst announced that the worldwide market for snake robots is expected to jump from just $46 million in 2011 to $8.5 billion in 2017. These snake-like robot arms, which can be self-contained portable devices or extensions to existing systems, are being used or will be used in a range of applications where space is confined.

Snake robots are useful just about anywhere space is confined, either by design (e.g. aircraft engine), failure (e.g. collapsed building), or nature (e.g. human body). Snake robots can be implemented as industrial arm robots, minimally invasive surgical devices, and for the military they provide unique reconnaissance opportunities.

Snake robots are the ultimate in all-terrain units because they can go anywhere, from under doors to over mountains. The market for snake robots is expected to see huge growth because the technology is proven, with a 100 successful reference accounts in a range of industries.
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Snake-like robots wielding UV lasers may soon slither deep inside aircraft engines to seek out and repair damage, according to the British jet engine maker Rolls-Royce. Once it is up and running, the technology should help airlines deal with potential engine problems on the spot to keep planes in the air and avoid delays for passengers. - via New Scientist