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Studying how sidewinders turn

Physicists at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, US, use robots to unpick the secrets of sidewinders.

These snakes have a distinctive method of getting around on sand, which is famously hypnotic and difficult understand.

As well as analysing video footage of the vipers moving, the researchers copy that movement with a sidewinding robot, developed by engineers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Here, Dr Henry Astley explains his discovery of two different strategies the snakes have for turning corners.

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  • 10 Mar 2016