"The i-Snake (which stands for imaging-sensing-navigated, kinematically enhanced) robot has fully articulated joints, allowing the tool to move around obstacles just as a snake can. The joints are powered by micromotors, and the tip is fitted with multiple sensing and imaging mechanisms.
The i-Snake is about 12.5 millimeters in diameter and can have a variable length, typically about 40 centimeters long. It can be held by the surgeon or have its end docked on to a robotic arm fixed to the operating table. The robot has a hollow center through which surgeons insert different surgical tools."
In the mean while, Howie Choset's group at Carnegie Mellon University is also advancing with their system. Check their system at work!