Friday, October 31, 2008

Blind as a Bat?

We all know the saying blind as a bat, although it is an oxymoron. Well, the University of Michigan College of Engineering, just received a five year $10-million dollar grant to develope a steel-winged robotic spy plane shaped like a bat - named COM-BAT. It is a six inch surveillence device that is powered by solar, wind, and vibrations - much like a real bat... The concept came from the US military as a means to gather real-time data for soldiers, and the army. The grant will initiate the University of Michigan Center for Objectives Microelectronics and Biominetic Advanced Technologies (called COM-BAT for short).

Some of the concepts that will be worked on through the grant include cameras for stereo vision, mini-microphones capable of tracking sounds from different directions, and small detectors for nuclear radiation and poisonous gases. 

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