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This paper puts forward a novel design concept for building a 3-D hyper-redundant chain robot (HRCR) system, consisting of linked, identical modules and one base module. All the joints of this HRCR are passive and state controllable and share common inputs introduced by wire-driven control. The original prototype developed here, named 3D-Trunk, is used as a proof of concept. We will present its whole mechanical design and controller architecture. The key components of 3D-Trunk, its operational principles, and all implementation issues are exhibited and described in detail. Basic robotics analyses, dynamics simulations, and some experiments are also shown. This novel design concept is highly modular and scalable, no matter how many degrees of freedom are implemented and, thus, provides an affordable solution for constructing an HRCR.