The snakinator project began in 2008 when Microchip, a computer chip manufacturer, offered an international contest to see who could design the coolest project for their new 32 bit processor. As I had not used much of my electrical engineering background over the last 20 years, I decided that this would be a good opportunity to refresh and do something fun. So we as a family decided to enter.

Now - what to make? Well, the robot was the obvious choice for kids. Rolling robots are so boring, walking robots are just clumsy, spider robots are cool but the kids don't like spiders. SO, we decided on a snake robot. In looking around I found several university projects that had created snake robots but they either all had wheels or hinges and really could not do a whole lot. We wanted a snake that actually slithered!

So we entered the contest, went through a lot of trial and error on the body design, held "robot design school", and finally came up with the Snakinator 9000.  With over 500 entries in the contest from around the world by top engineers we thought we did not have a chance. We worked hard on it and after many months we made it to the semi-finals. We need to thank Microchip for inspiring us and giving us a goal to focus on! We made a lot of fun innovations along the way, including the ability to control up to 20 servo motors from a single microprocessor.

Due to work and school getting in the way, we have not been able to put as much time into it as we like. We have also entered it into several other contests to keep the enthusiasm up.

If you like it, send us a note or vote for us in one of the contests we entered.

Wayne Rust and Family