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.
Sensor Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 18, 2013
Keywords: Animals; Birds; Reptiles; Remote sensing; Animal sensors; Snake infrared sensors; Bat echolocation; Dolphin echolocation; Bird navigation; Biomimetics
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