Science

Robot Bloodhounds Sniff a New Idea

Posted 25 Jan 2007 at 23:25 UTC by steve Share This

According to a New Scientist article, robots may soon be a match for animals when it comes to following barely detectable scents to their origin. Researchers have developed a simple mathematical method for determining which way to go even when turbulence and eddies in the air render the trail difficult to follow. Robots using the algorithm follow paths similar to those of moths tracking pheromones. More details can be found in a letter titled, "'Infotaxis' as a strategy for searching without gradients", recently published in Nature by Massimo Vergassola, Emmanuel Villermaux, and Boris I. Shraiman. Also available online is an older paper by Shraiman, Olfactory Search at High Reynolds Number (PDF format).

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