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Israelis wire locust ear to a robot, pioneering part-animal part-machine tech

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Israeli scientists have successfully wired a locust ear into a robot, and say the breakthrough could pave the way for animal parts to become the microphones and cameras of the future.

The robot at Tel Aviv University “listens” to sounds around it using the ear of a dead locust. Upon hearing one clap it moves forward; upon hearing two claps in quick succession it moves backward.

Researchers behind the breakthrough say it is the first time a sense organ has been integrated into electronics, and therefore a “proof of concept” that shows that the full sensory capacity of animal parts — noses, eyes, ears and touch sensors — can be harnessed and information they gather fed to machines.

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“We decided to use an ear to demonstrate what we can do, but the big deal is the general principle that we can use animal sensory systems for robotic platforms,” Ben Maoz, one of the scholars behind the invention, told The Times of Israel.

He commented: “We’re showing that it’s possible to take the animal kingdom’s........

© The Times of Israel

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