Sneel - Open Hardware Swimming Robotic Snake

Sneel engages communities to take a hands-on approach to marine preservation through the use of modular hardware toolkits for fabricating and programming open-source biomimetic robots for environmental exploration. I have led hackathons and workshops, worldwide in places like Ireland, New York, and Casablanca, developing and deploying toolkits for environmental sensing. My ultimate goal is to proliferate modular toolkits for environmental and social impact.

Sneel is a series of biomimetic swimming robotic snakes designed to navigate unknown territory and sense environmental data, The inspiration for Sneel originates from a fascination with exploring lifelike, reptilian motion in an aquatic robot. The electromechanical design of Sneel mimics the structure and motion of a real snake, as a test to explore swimming behavior in an undulating linear robot.

Worldwide applications for Sneel include remote marine data collection of salinity / toxicity levels, radioactivity monitoring, pipeline or underwater exploration, fishery monitoring, and search and rescue.

Sneel is a fully open source hardware project, which means that I document all of my work online and in-print, including the CAD designs, the source code, and the electronic schematics for others to see and use, on my own website (, on github, and on sites like Instructables. From Sneel spawned global communities of people building and developing their own open hardware snake robots based on my own.

Sneel was originally developed as part of the Protei project, open source sailing drones for the ocean preservation and cleanup. Sneel_001 was designed as the 7th prototype of Protei and has since spurred into its own project and initiative.

Sneel has been exhibited at TEKS meta.morf Trondheim Electronic Arts Biennial, Transnatural Art Festival NEMO Amsterdam, ITP NYU, Geekdown 92Y Tribeca, Open Hardware Summit 2013 MIT.

Financé par New York City, NY (December 2013)