Cats get a surprising amount of data through their whiskers, which operate like biological sensors to detect moving air and aid in nighttime navigation.
Popular Mechanics reports that scientists are at work to create whiskers for robots. It’s called “biomimicry” — machines copycatting nature.
Here’s a relevant paragraph from Popular Mechanics:
To craft the perfect e-whisker, Javey and his team sought out nanomaterials that were both lightweight and highly sensitive to strain. Carbon nanotubes lent the whiskers their flexibility, while silver nanoparticles increased their sensitivity. By tinkering with the proportion of carbon to silver, Javey’s team demonstrated that the e-whiskers could be customised to perform specific tasks.
E-whiskers can make all order of robots more intelligent regardless of where they “live” — there’s even talk that underwater robots could use e-whiskers to mimic the nervous system in fish, called a lateral line.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.