For anybody looking for a quick remedy for all that gentle, peaceful sleep they’ve been getting lately, say hello to the new stuff of nightmares: the true trifecta of freaky, the Eelume swimming robot. It’s a robot, it’s a snake, it moves silently deep under water, and it looks exactly like the kind of thing that will eventually evolve into an unstoppable Aquaman villain.
The swimming robot you see in the video above (and below), which slithered onto our radar via Engadget, is the product of a collaboration between three companies: Eelume, which was spun off from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Kongsberg Maritime (which specializes in “marine automation”), and Statoil (a Norwegian oil and gas producer). And although the slinky water bot was built with good intentions, it still has little demon-red lights on its head that make it look like it wants to grow up to be a sentinel from The Matrix.
Speaking of good intentions, however, the swimming bot is supposed to make underwater inspection and maintenance for structures like oil rigs and offshore wind farms far more efficient and cost-effective, thusly “reducing the use of large and expensive vessels” for the same purpose. The robot’s form will allow it to snake its way into tight areas that other inspection vessels previously could not, and it will also be able to do “light maintenance,” like cleaning equipment and adjusting valves and chokes.
As of now, there are two forms the subsurface robo-snake can take, including the version without thrusters seen in the video above, and the version with thrusters seen in the video below. There is no word yet from Eelume or the other companies involved with the project on when these undulating helpers are to be implemented, but they are set to be permanent installations on the seabed floor, as well as the recesses of your primal subconscious fears.
But you know what isn’t a primal subconscious fear? Letting us know what you think about these robotic sea snakes, which you can do in the depths of the comments section below!
Images: KONGSBERG Gruppen