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Science Nation: Whiskered Robots

4 minutes 33 seconds

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The image of a rat sniffing around for food with its little whiskers moving back and forth to help satisfy its appetite is enough to make most people lose theirs. But those whiskers play a valuable role in helping rats determine what is in the environment around them. With support from the National Science Foundation, Mitra Hartmann and colleagues at Northwestern University in Chicago are constructing whiskered robots that can detect and then project three-dimensional virtual images of objects on to a computer screen. Scientists here don't think it's so far-fetched that one day robotic rovers, much like the ones on Mars now, might contain a set of whiskers to help them navigate the terrain around them.

Media Details

Runtime: 4 minutes 33 seconds

Computer screens with color-shaded images of a spiral shaped storm. Caption: study hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards from the inside.
Science Nation
Episode 1
3 minutes 14 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Person filling a glass from a faucet. Caption: our risk of contracting some form of cancer would go up.
Science Nation
Episode 2
3 minutes 9 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Green landscape with a hillside in the background. A small industrial installation is present. Caption: They don't know where to get information they can trust.
Science Nation
Episode 3
3 minutes 7 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Robotic arms manipulating a small ball. Caption: is pushing the world of robotics and prosthetics
Science Nation
Episode 4
3 minutes 47 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Bolt of lightning arcing from cloud to ground. Caption: we all want up-to-the-minute information.
Science Nation
Episode 5
3 minutes 9 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Cluster of nerve fibers. Caption: that can image deep into biological tissue,
Science Nation
Episode 6
3 minutes 6 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Dirty water with bubbles and PVC pipes. Caption: and reused again and again in a sustainable loop.
Science Nation
Episode 7
3 minutes 4 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Person with a fabric cap strapped to their head. The cap has metal rivets and wires attached. Captions: (female) it feels maybe like a mild itchy or tingling sensation.
Science Nation
Episode 8
3 minutes 3 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Microscopic image showing web-like structures and C shaped tubular organisms. Caption: (narrator) The soil itself is home to a vast number of tiny microbes,
Science Nation
Episode 9
3 minutes 35 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
White glowing orb against a black grid. Caption: Weakly Interacting Massive Particle
Science Nation
Episode 10
3 minutes 19 seconds
Grade Level: 10 - 12