Remote sensing and navigation in the animal world: an overview

Remote sensing and navigation in the animal world: an overview Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to acquaint a wide audience of readers with some of the unique remote sensing and navigation capabilities of animals. Design/methodology/approach – Biomimetic comparison of remote sensors evolved by animals and sensors designed by man. The study and comparison includes thermal infrared sensors used by snakes, echolocation used by bats and dolphins, and navigation methods used by birds. Countermeasures used by prey to avoid capture are also considered. Findings – Some animals have remote sensing and navigation capabilities that are considerably more efficient than those provided by the human body or designed by man. Practical implications – Sensor designers may be encouraged to use the biometic approach in the design of new sensors. Social implications – The paper provides a better understanding of animal behaviour, especially their unique abilities to remotely sense, echolocate and navigate with high accuracy over considerable distances. Originality/value – The paper presents a comparison of remote sensors used by animals with those developed by humans. Remote sensor designers can learn to improve their sensor designs by studying animal sensors within a biomimetic framework. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sensor Review Emerald Publishing

Remote sensing and navigation in the animal world: an overview

Sensor Review, Volume 33 (1): 11 – Jan 18, 2013

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0260-2288
DOI
10.1108/02602281311294298
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to acquaint a wide audience of readers with some of the unique remote sensing and navigation capabilities of animals. Design/methodology/approach – Biomimetic comparison of remote sensors evolved by animals and sensors designed by man. The study and comparison includes thermal infrared sensors used by snakes, echolocation used by bats and dolphins, and navigation methods used by birds. Countermeasures used by prey to avoid capture are also considered. Findings – Some animals have remote sensing and navigation capabilities that are considerably more efficient than those provided by the human body or designed by man. Practical implications – Sensor designers may be encouraged to use the biometic approach in the design of new sensors. Social implications – The paper provides a better understanding of animal behaviour, especially their unique abilities to remotely sense, echolocate and navigate with high accuracy over considerable distances. Originality/value – The paper presents a comparison of remote sensors used by animals with those developed by humans. Remote sensor designers can learn to improve their sensor designs by studying animal sensors within a biomimetic framework.

Journal

Sensor ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 18, 2013

Keywords: Animals; Birds; Reptiles; Remote sensing; Animal sensors; Snake infrared sensors; Bat echolocation; Dolphin echolocation; Bird navigation; Biomimetics

References

  • The Sonar of Dolphins
    Au, W.W.L.
  • Echolocation in dolphins and bats
    Au, W.W.L.; Simmons, J.A.
  • Nature as a model for technical sensors
    Bleckmann, H.; Schmitz, H.; von der Emde, G.

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