Snake-like robots are quite useful in confined areas and places dangerous to humans. We have covered a bunch of interesting flexible robots in the past. LaserPipe explores remote in-bore pipe welding using high-powered lasers and snake-arm robotics.
For this project, a laser welding head was integrated with a snake-arm robot to handle locating of weld joint, alignment of the laser, and in-bore laser welding. The robot achieved a welding speed of 1 meter per minute. This is a UK funded R&D project.