Have you ever wondered how a snake can see in the infrared? Or how a moth can follow an incredibly faint scent trail to its source? It’s not that their senses are just the same as ours, but better. They frequently use completely different sensing mechanisms, capable of giving them information about their world that we’re oblivious to. And now humans are starting to learn from the animals. Engineers are being inspired by the structures that animals have built into their own bodies, and this is leading to new materials and new solutions to long-standing problems.
This event ties in with the upcoming BBC2 series “Super Senses: The secret power of animals”, presented by UCL research fellow Helen Czerski and biologist Patrick Ayree. Helen will talk about the process of filming this series, the science she learned, and what it’s like for a physicist to have to wade into a swamp full of alligators. And then UCL engineers will share some of their cutting-edge animal-inspired research projects.
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