Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

BIOTACT Whiskered Robot Rat

The BIOTACT (BIOmimetic Technology for vibrissal ACtive Touch) project seeks to develop robots with innovative artificial touch technologies. One of the first whiskered robot prototypes is shown in the picture below.


(BIOTACT whiskered robot rat)

Professor Tony Prescott of the University of Sheffield´s Department of Psychology leads the BIOTACT project's efforts to develop robots that can use touch in poorly lit or cluttered environments, as animals do. The Norwegian rat and the Etruscan shrew, for example, use their whiskers to make sense of their environment. The mammals sweep their whiskers back and forth at high speeds in a controlled manner, allowing them to use touch signals alone to recognize familiar items quickly. Prescot remarks:

"Overall, our project will bring about a step-change in the understanding of active touch sensing and in the use of whisker-like sensors in intelligent machines. Today´s life-like machines, such as robots, don´t make effective use of touch. By learning from nature and developing technologies that do use this physical sense, our researchers will be able to enhance the capabilities of the machines of the future."


(BIOTACT whiskered robot rat design)

BIOTACT whisker technology could have a number of possible applications ranging from search and rescue robots that could pick their way through rubble and debris to planetary rovers in space. It has been noted that this technology could also be used in domestic products, like vacuum cleaners that could sense textures for optimal cleaning.

In his 1950 story There Will Come Soft Rains, Ray Bradbury wrote about a fully automated house with little cleaning robots:

Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted. The rooms were acrawl with the small cleaning animals, all rubber and metal. They thudded against chairs, whirling their mustached runners, kneading the rug nap, sucking gently at hidden dust.
(Read more about Ray Bradbury's robot mouse)

The BIOTACT TEAM is not the first to seek whiskered robots; read about the AMouse with real whiskers for more information.

Via Robot rat to lead the way in touch technology; see also Scientists develop robotic rats to aid in rescue missions.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/18/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Auto-Targeting Fire Sprinkler Systems Now Reality
I think every kitchen should have one of these.

LEONARDO Robot Has Legs And Thrusters, Can Skateboard, Slackline
'a walking balloon proceeded with long strides of its aluminum legs over a slant of steep upland.' - George Parsons Lathrop, 1897.

Xavier Robots On Patrol For 'Anti-Social Behavior'
'This was as close as a robot could get to a cop in uniform.' Harry Harrison, 1958.

Pengxing Intelligent Robot Horse You Can Ride
'The horse reared up, pawing the air, then sprang into a gallop.' - Christopher Stasheff, 1969.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Jetson ONE Personal Electric Aerial Vehicle
Who says you can't have your flying car?

Starlab By Nanoracks, A Commercial Space Station
'Webb Foster had built his space laboratory... It was a great crystal sphere, a thousand feet in diameter.'

Auto-Targeting Fire Sprinkler Systems Now Reality
I think every kitchen should have one of these.

Monarch Tractor - It's Electric, Autonomous and Smart
'Driver-optional' and follows gestures.

'Seabreeze' Apple And UCLA Project To Beat Depression
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test,' the machine said peevishly.'

Hovermap By Emesent Autonomous Mapping Works Indoors - and Out
Perfect for exploring ancient artifacts on distant planets.

Sono Motor's Sion Sun-Powered Car
'...six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

LEONARDO Robot Has Legs And Thrusters, Can Skateboard, Slackline
'a walking balloon proceeded with long strides of its aluminum legs over a slant of steep upland.'

Xavier Robots On Patrol For 'Anti-Social Behavior'
'This was as close as a robot could get to a cop in uniform.'

Rotating House in Bosnia
'... feel free to turn the house on your own.'

Ingenious Engineer Creates DIY Feeding Robot
'Waldo flexed and extended his fingers gently; the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

SpaceX Creates 'Tholian Web' Mega Constellation Of Satellites
'We shall not see home again!'

Do Smart Glasses Need Forward-Facing Cameras?
'They were stylish, with yellow-tinted lenses and hip frames, but the posts were unusually thick.'

Adorable One-Seater Electric Car From Wuxi Sinotech
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed...'

Zoom Adds Real-Time, Live Translation
'He immediately turned the small shining disc of the Language Rectifier..'

It's Spacewalk Sunday, Thanks To The ESA
'The delicious, indescribable pleasure of being a little planet swinging through space...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.