Now Robots Can Smell Also

Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel have made a groundbreaking discovery by equipping a robot with a sense of smell. The robot is equipped with a biological sensor that can identify odors with a level of sensitivity 10,000 times higher than that of a commonly used electronic device. The robot has the potential to be used in the future to detect drugs, explosives, and contraband.

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The researchers integrated the biological sensor into an electronic system and used a machine learning algorithm to identify the odors. The results of the study were published in the prestigious journal Biosensor and Bioelectronics. The team was able to characterize 8 odors such as geranium, lemon, and marzipan and identify additional unique smells like various types of Scotch whiskey.

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Insects are known to excel at receiving and processing sensory signals, such as a mosquito detecting a 0.01 percent difference in the level of carbon dioxide in the air. The researchers were able to connect the biological sensor to an electronic system to decode the electrical signals received from the receptors.

The researchers now plan to give the robot a navigation ability to allow it to localize the odor source and later its identity. The future is looking promising as the robot with a sense of smell could soon become a regular sight at airports and railway stations.

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