Sure we've seen remote-controlled robotic snakes before, and pretty slithery ones at that, but the Japanese have managed to wow us once again with the amphibious ACM-R5 snakebot that takes mechanized snakery to a new level. Looking somewhat like one of the creepy alien tentacles in Steven Spielberg Presents Tom Cruise in H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, the ACM-R5 sports the obligatory snout-cam, and one-ups the OmniTread that we spotted last year by slithering rather naturally underwater, along with the crawling, climbing, and logrolling expected from robotic serpents these days. The eight-kilogram reptile is powered by a 30-minute lithium ion battery, during which time the remote operator sets its general direction while sensors feeding a 32-bit microprocessor guide the actual underwater acrobatics and terra firma terrain negotiation. Like most technology, this will initially be used in a humanitarian capacity to help locate victims of earthquakes and other disasters, but we're sure that it won't be long before the versatile bot gets weaponized, strapped with a few bombs, and enlisted in the war on terror. Follow the via link for a rather amusing vid of the ACM-R5 in action, complete with enthusiastic play-by-play by the clearly-impressed commentators...

[Via TechEBlog]