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Inventor develops a bizarre four-legged robot that allows snakes to ‘walk’ 

An eccentric inventor has created a bizarre four-legged robot that makes snakes ‘walk’.

Allen Pan, a Los Angeles-based engineer and YouTuber, made the device out of a long tube and four plastic legs connected to a controller board.

Footage shows a snake curiously poking its head out of the end of the device as it is slowly transported across the room.

Pan, who posted a video blog of his project on YouTube, said he wanted to “give snakes their legs back.”

About 150 million years ago, snakes had visible legs, but they evolved to lose them, presumably due to a genetic mutation.

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Allen Pan, a California-based engineer and YouTuber, made the device out of a plastic tube and four robotic legs modeled after a lizard.

Allen Pan, a California-based engineer and YouTuber, made the device out of a plastic tube and four robotic legs modeled after a lizard.

1660644569 90 Inventor develops a bizarre four legged robot that allows snakes to

1660644569 90 Inventor develops a bizarre four legged robot that allows snakes to

Pan, who posted a video blog of his project on YouTube, said he wanted to “give snakes their legs back.”

Footage shows a snake curiously poking its head out of the end of the device as it moves quietly around the room

Footage shows a snake curiously poking its head out of the end of the device as it moves quietly around the room

Footage shows a snake curiously poking its head out of the end of the device as it moves quietly around the room

HOW DOES IT WORK?

American YouTuber Allen Pan created the system from four robotic legs, each equipped with servo motors connected to a controller board.

The legs are activated wirelessly with a small tag attached to a key fob and programmed on a laptop.

Pan wanted a design that allowed a snake to “choose to put on or take off,” so that the snake wouldn’t be forced into a device against its will.

Thus, the central body of the robot was made of a long plastic tube with openings at both ends.

Pan also visited a local pet store so he could see how a reptile walks and program the robot to walk the same way.

Even today, some pythons have tiny leg bones in their bodies, although they are too small and are “rudimentary” – a remnant of something that was once useful.

‘I actually feel sorry for snakes; they’ve lost their legs and nobody even tries to find them – nobody but me,” Pan said in the video.

“When another animal has deformed legs, humanity comes together to spit in God’s face and we’ve built that animal awesome new cyborg legs.”

Pan was inspired by the western three-toed skink (Chalcides striatus), a species of lizard with four small legs.

The species is remarkably similar to a snake, except for the four small appendages.

“They might be the closest thing to a real snake with legs,” said Pan.

After trying out a failed prototype on a stuffed snake, Pan made the system out of four robotic legs, each equipped with servo motors connected to a controller board, similar to model railroad sets that automatically go around a track.

The legs can be activated wirelessly using a small tag attached to a key fob and programmed into a laptop.

Pan wanted a design that a snake could “choose to put on or take off” so that the snake wouldn’t be forced into a device against its will, which would have been unethical.

Thus, the central body of the robot was made of a long plastic tube with openings at both ends.

Pan was inspired in part by the western three-toed skink (Chalcides striatus, pictured), a species of lizard with four small legs

Pan was inspired in part by the western three-toed skink (Chalcides striatus, pictured), a species of lizard with four small legs

Pan was inspired in part by the western three-toed skink (Chalcides striatus, pictured), a species of lizard with four small legs

Pan also visited a local pet store so he could see how a reptile walks and program the robot to walk the same way.

“With this visual data I was able to reconstruct how a snake might walk if it still had legs.”

Pan then visited Anthony Zavala, a snake breeder in Temecula, California, to try the robot out on a willing snake.

When Zavala first tried to feed the snake into the tube, it initially advanced a few inches before returning.

With persistence, the snake eventually slid straight into the tube until its head poked out the other side and the robot could begin to move.

When Zavala first tried to feed the snake into the tube, it initially moved forward a few inches before going back

When Zavala first tried to feed the snake into the tube, it initially moved forward a few inches before going back

When Zavala first tried to feed the snake into the tube, it initially moved forward a few inches before going back

With persistence, the snake eventually slid straight into the tube until its head poked out on the other side and the robot could begin to move

With persistence, the snake eventually slid straight into the tube until its head poked out on the other side and the robot could begin to move

With persistence, the snake eventually slid straight into the tube until its head poked out on the other side and the robot could begin to move

“I can’t get over the image of the snake crawling into its robotic exoskeleton,” Pan said.

The video shows the snake sticking out its tongue – a sign that it is trying to get a sense of its surroundings.

Pan pointed out that an angry snake will form an S shape with their bodies, while a contented snake relaxes and stretches “like a noodle.”

Because of this and the straight shape of the plastic tube, only ‘happy snakes’ can use the robot legs.

Pan concluded by saying that he undone “150 million years of evolutionary mistakes” in one day.

MailOnline has contacted him about any plans to commercialize his creation.

HOW SNAKES HAVE LEGS: ANCIENT REPTILES HAD limbs and cheekbones for 100 MILLION YEARS before evolving into a gliding form

Ancient snakes had legs and cheekbones during the first 100 million years of their evolution, a 2019 study concluded.

Researchers have uncovered the secrets of the early snakes by studying the “remarkably well-preserved remains” of Najesh snakes discovered in Argentina.

The remains, believed to be from the early late Cretaceous about 100 million years ago, showed that snake legs were not only temporary, but lasted for millions of years.

“Najash shows how snakes evolved from lizards in incremental evolutionary steps, just as Darwin predicted,” said Professor Mike Lee, one of the authors of the study.

A limited fossil record made it difficult to properly understand how snakes evolved into the form they have today, which is what makes the fossils examined for this study so important, the researchers said.

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