Taking their cue from fish, scientists in the US have built a navigational aid that will help robots and remote sensors find their way around the world`s vast oceans. The team describes its research today in the Institute of Physics publication Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.
Fish and many amphibian animals find their way through even the murkiest of waters, navigate raging torrents and spot obstacles, predators and prey using a sensory organ known as the lateral line system. Sometimes known as the fish`s sixth sense, the lateral line is a system of thousands of tiny hair cells that run the length of the fish`s body. The lateral line responds to fluid flow around the fish and allows it to detect obstacles and sense the movement of water even in complete darkness.
Now, electrical engineer Chang Liu, entomologist Fred Delcomyn and their colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA have developed an artificial lateral line that could give underwater vehicles and robots a sixth sense. Robots equipped with the lateral line system will be able to navigate and feel in water.
Dianne Stilwell | alfa
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