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biologically inspired design

  1. Moth Pilot Helps To Teach Robot To Smell, Look For Love [Video]

    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.

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  2. Flesh-Spearing Porcupine Quills Could Inspire The Needles Of The Future

    When researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston went looking for the future of jamming a sharp thing inside of you, they looked to a creature that has built it's reputation -- and ensured its survival -- by delivering sharp pokes for millions of years: the porcupine. By analyzing the unique geometry of porcupine spines, they're unraveling the secrets of why it's so easy to get one of the sharp spines to puncture flesh, and so hard to remove it. They're hoping those lessons could result in more effective needles that could enter the body with less force and seal the wounds they leave on their way out, reducing the possibility of infections.

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