Robot catch

Published: Wednesday 31 December 1997

Rodolph -- a robot which uses the sonar ability of bats and dolphins to use echoes for locating a target -- has been developed by Roman Kuc at the Yale University, USA. The sonar device is very sensitive and can detect whether a tossed coin has come up heads or tails. The detector could be easier to use and less costly than camera vision in identifying an authorised customer at an automated teller machine. It may also help find production flaws on an assembly line. Three Polaroid electrostatic transducers have been fitted into the robot that act either as transmitters or receivers to serve as the robot's 'mouth' and 'ears'. The transducers are similar to those in Polaroid autofocus cameras to gauge an object's range.

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