Despite the hype the film has received courtesy of the blogs of fans who were captivated by its preposterous plot months ago, I probably won't be viewing Samuel L. Jackson's latest action-packed thriller, Snakes on a Plane, anytime soon. This is nothing against Jackson -- who is actually one of my favorite actors -- and more just an indication that my personal tastes lie elsewhere.
One of the things that has piqued my interest recently is the advancing field of robotics. I was digging for information on Digg.com's science site Friday morning when I came across a series of photos entitled "Robot snakes on a fire truck."
The robots in the pictures look surprisingly like real snakes and were manufactured by a Norwegian research company called Sintec. What is evident from the photos is that these robots are rapidly approaching the point where they will become practical tools for firefighters all around the world.
For instance, these snakes can fight dangerous chemical fires that humans could not approach without great risk to themselves. They can also fight fires in tunnels and other tight spaces, as well as search for survivors through the wreckage of an earthquake or other natural or man-made disasters. In fact, Sintec is even developing a robotic snake powerful enough to crash through a wall.
Granted, these aren't exactly the types of daily household helpers found on the shelves of retailers such as Target
It was also reported Friday that Japan's ministry of economy, trade, and industry plans to invest an additional $20 million to help Japanese companies develop next-generation intelligence robots. The aim is to begin commercializing these robots in 2015.
Given this kind of worldwide attention, and knowing about the advances from Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation iRobot, Sintec, and others, it's clear to me that should snakes ever become a real threat on a plane -- a la the movie -- we probably won't need a hero like Jackson's character to save the day. Rather, we can look forward to a robotic snake rescuing us from our slithery, high-altitude fate.
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