Thursday, September 2, 2010
No. 151: Robot that shakes his head horizontally when he feels an odor (September 2, 2010)
A research team led by Shoji Takeuchi, an associate professor of Tokyo University, experimentally built a sensor using a cell that responds to a specific odor. Many odor sensors using oxide semiconductor or synthetic polymer are currently available, but this is the first sensor that uses a cell. This sensor technology will make it possible to detect various odorous substances in the future. The research team revealed the image showing that a robot incorporating this sensor shakes his head horizontally when he feels an odor. This technology realizes the possibility to develop a robot that detects body odor and breath odor in the future. It utilizes the mechanism that makes a living body feel an odor. When an odorous substance sticks to the receptor inside the cell membrane, the cell membrane makes an opening into which surrounding ion flows.