Show Details

Sniper Detector

July 19, 2006

Robots that mimic human hearing could be useful on and off the battlefield.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Robots on the battlefield. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

You’re a soldier on patrol, and a sniper fires at you. You need to take cover, but the shooter could be anywhere. Soldiers in this situation may soon look to a robot called REDOWL. Thanks to sound-processing technology designed to improve cochlear implants for deaf people, REDOWL can identify the exact location of a gunshot. It can then turn to the shooter and zoom in with a camera. Engineer Socrates Deligeorges of Boston University says the technology is modeled after the way humans hear.

SOCRATES DELIGEORGES (Boston University):
…basically neuron by neuron. How the mechanical structures take sound pressure waves, convert them to electrical signals, and how the brain uses those electrical signals.

HIRSHON:
Deligeorges says the technology has also proven useful for monitoring machinery and even taking a census of frogs. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.