Archives for June 14, 2009

Robotic Ferret to Aid in Searches for Contraband

One more example of a robot design whose idea came form nature.  In this case, a ferret is the basis for the robot.  Ferrets were originally domesticated by humans for hunting.  They could chase the prey into tight spaces.  This is the idea here.  Cargo containers are difficult to search when fully loaded with materials, but there are voids that can be exploited by a device that is small and able to maneuver in close quarters.  Thus, the robot dubbed the ferret.  Check out the story at the photo link or the other links below.

Robot Ferret     Robot Ferret

Image Credit:  Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

A new type of robot under development will make it easier to detect drugs, weapons, explosives and illegal immigrants concealed in cargo containers.Dubbed the ‘cargo-screening ferret’ and designed for use at seaports and airports, the device is being worked on at the University of Sheffield with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).The ferret will be the world’s first cargo-screening device able to pinpoint all kinds of illicit substances and the first designed to operate inside standard freight containers.It will be equipped with a suite of sensors that are more comprehensive and more sensitive than any currently employed in conventional cargo scanners.Recent advances in both laser and fiber optic technology now make it possible to detect tiny particles of different substances.

Robotic Ferret Can Detect Hidden Drugs, Weapons
Fri, 12 Jun 2009 13:21:37 GMT