Just like in a science fiction film, the robotic snake-arm wriggles through a small hole. Its task: to perform a safety inspection in a hard-to-reach location, recording video as it does so. Very confined and hazardous spaces are common in many industrial sectors. Small spaces are not only difficult for humans to access, but these areas and the devices they contain also have to be inspected frequently. OC Robotics, based in Bristol (UK), looked at the world of animals for inspiration and developed the “snake-arm robot”. Managing director Rob Buckingham and technical director Andrew Graham developed the first prototypes in 2001. They have continued to this day to perfect the technology behind the snake-arm robot. The company was founded in 1997 and manufactures snake-like robots that are especially suitable for confined spaces and hazardous environments. The snake-arm robots have a slim, flexible design - they can easily fit through small gaps and circumnavigate obstacles with great skill.