robot that listens through the ear of a locust works
: when it perceives a clap of the hands it moves forward, while with two beats it moves backwards.
It is the result of the experiment conducted at Tel Aviv University by a multidisciplinary team of experts led by Ben M. Maoz.
The study, published in the journal Sensors, could pave the way for the integration of robots with other 'living' sensory systems, such as noses capable of recognizing people, explosives and drugs.
“In general, biological systems offer a huge advantage over technological systems, both in terms of sensitivity and energy consumption,” explains Maoz.
"Our goal was to replace a microphone with the ear of a dead insect, to take advantage of its ability to perceive environmental signals, in this case air vibrations, and convert these insect inputs into robot input. through a chip ".
First, the researchers created a robot capable of reacting to external stimuli;
then they took the ear of a locust and kept it vital and functioning for the time it took to connect it to the robot.
Finally, they devised a way to transform the signal received by the insect's ear into an intelligible signal for the robot.
As a result, the robot was able to hear the researchers' clapping through the locust's ear and then move accordingly, as it had been trained to do.
“This principle - underlines Maoz - can also be applied to the other senses, such as smell, sight and touch.
Some animals, for example, have extraordinary abilities to identify explosives and drugs;
creating a robot with a biological nose could help save lives and identify criminals in a previously impossible way.
Some animals can even recognize diseases, others can sense earthquakes.
The only limit is the imagination ”.