There are limitations due to mobility and maneuverability that all the Mars rovers to date have experienced. Even the most agile of wheeled rovers can only do so much. An example - the Spirit rover was lost when it got stuck in the sand. The object is to find something that would be able to explore every nook and cranny while avoiding hazards along the way. Answer; the snake. Snakes are the ultimate contortionist.
This work is based on a feasibility study is being funded by the ESA and is looking at different way of exploring the challenging terrain.
A possible benefit? The snake-like robotic lab would be able to get up close with rocky samples and could even detach itself & slither on up to samples collecting them from difficult places or getting in close before taking a picture. But it isn’t being considered by itself.
The thought is to have a rover with snake appendages. The snake can in this way glean power be it through a physical cable or by charging a battery. The option of having it able to free itself and act independently means that also it could come to the assistance of it mother – the rover, should the rover become stuck.
Due to the fact that robotic technology has become so advanced, the options being explored carry great possibilities. Such as a robotic invasion of Mars by snakes.