Snake Researchers in London say the use of a snake-like surgical robot will mean smaller scars and shorter recovery times for patients.

The $4.2 million robot, which is known as the i-Snake, is being developed at Imperial College in London.

The i-Snake is a flexible tube, with motors, sensors and imaging tools, meant for “keyhole” surgeries.

It will enable doctors to perform complex procedures in the heart, bowel and stomach now possible only through more invasive techniques.

“Gone are the days when the surgeon’s knife ruled in the operating theater. The future of surgery is in smart devices like i-Snake,” said Dr. Ted Bianco, director of technology transfer at the Wellcome Trust.