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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2013

Victor V. Klemas

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.

Abstract

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.

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