One of the toughest hurdles to clear for the next generation of robotics is trying to teach robots the senses that we use everyday, or at least develop accurate analogs for them. Researchers at the University of Tokyo
are tackling the problem of teaching robots to smell
with a little help from the humble silk moth. They've put a male moth in the driver's seat of a small, two-wheeled robot, letting the moth's powerful attraction to the scent of female silk moth pheromones help it guide the robot across a chamber. As the moth drives, the robot takes lessons from it in tracking down and following scent trails
, and also in moth courtship, a skill that will probably come in less handy. Keep reading to see the world's smallest mech pilot it in action below.