Tiniest Microphone Inspired By Fly

This tiny (2mm wide) microphone mimics the hearing mechanism of the Ormia ochracea fly. University of Texas Austin researchers had admired the fly's ability to pinpoint the location of crickets; this is another excellent example of how biomimicry can aid engineers.


(Microscope photo of fly-inspired microphone)
This is a top-side view in a microscope photograph of the
biologically inspired microphone. The tiny structure rotates
and flaps about the pivots (labeled), producing a voltage across
the electrodes (labeled).

The parasitoid fly Ormia ochracea has the remarkable ability to locate crickets using audible sound. This ability is, in fact, remarkable as the fly’s hearing mechanism spans only 1.5 mm which is 50× smaller than the wavelength of sound emitted by the cricket. The hearing mechanism is, for all practical purposes, a point in space with no significant interaural time or level differences to draw from. It has been discovered that evolution has empowered the fly with a hearing mechanism that utilizes multiple vibration modes to amplify interaural time and level differences.

Here, we present a fully integrated, man-made mimic of the Ormia’s hearing mechanism capable of replicating the remarkable sound localization ability of the special fly. A silicon-micromachined prototype is presented which uses multiple piezoelectric sensing ports to simultaneously transduce two orthogonal vibration modes of the sensing structure, thereby enabling simultaneous measurement of sound pressure and pressure gradient.

As Technovelgy readers know, I'm really enamored of The Scarab, a 1936 short story by Golden Age scientifiction master Raymond Z. Gallun, which describes a tiny UAV, a beetle-shaped remote-controlled flying robot. The tiny robot Scarab of course had even tinier ear microphones:

There it studied its surroundings, transmitting to its manipulator, far away now, all that it heard through its ear microphones and saw with its minute vision tubes.

If you found this interesting, be sure to read the full description in the article at Sound source localization inspired by the ears of the Ormia ochracea or the material in the article at KurzweilAI.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/21/2014)

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 ")

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot
We can always make it limp along if it gets threatening.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Made In Space To Manufacture Optical Fiber In Orbit
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

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.