June 27, 2006

Locust, Star Wars and Crashing Cars

So there's this car, and at the wheel is an idiot, aiming straight for you...how fast can you move? How do you decide in that split second where to go? Or what about a car coming from behind, too close for comfort, or maybe the car ahead of you has stopped suddenly and you have to react.....
A bit scary isn't it?
But what if your car were protected with a different sort of system; a system that could react for you, process the movement of the objects heading your way more quickly than you could, warn you and if necessary activate the breaks and safety devices?
Locusts fly in hoardes, yet somehow manage to avoid each other; so Carol Rind decided to study them-- by forcing them to watch Star Wars! How are they processing this information? A special neuron, named "LGMD" (Locust Giant Movement Detector) located behind their eyes which gives out burst of energy when the locust is about to crash into another locust or a bird.
Add Jorge Cuadri and his colleagues who specialize in microelectronics and you may very well have a smart car.
One that could save your life, or the life of a pedestrian.
Here's the links!
A locustâ„¢s eye view to prevent car accidents
Locusts Inspire Technology That May Prevent Car Crashes

Posted by Rachel Ann at June 27, 2006 11:43 AM | TrackBack
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