Engineers from OC Robotics in Bristol, U.K., have taken us one step closer to a Prometheus-style med pod — and one that might be just as creepy. At the recently concluded International Conference on Oncological Engineering, the developers unveiled a prototype medical robot that will soon help surgeons reach deep inside of patients without having to open them up.

Once the device is ready for prime time, a surgeon could use it to locate and eradicate tumors. But why did it have to be a snake?

The developers say that this mecha-snake will result in minimally invasive procedures — though that's certainly a claim that's in the eye of the beholder. Once fully developed, the snake will enter the body via a local incision, or, regrettably, through a bodily orifice. This will allow surgeons to look and "feel" inside the body. The device will also be equipped with a camera and other sensitive equipment, allowing surgeons to track and guide its progress.

As unsettling as all this might appear, the robotic snake will minimize the need for large and exploratory incisions — which can often be a risky proposition.

Source BBC. Image via OC Robotics