JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Robot cricket. Dr Barbara Webb of Edinburgh University, photographed with her 'robot cricket'. Webb built the robot to model the female cricket's ability to find a mate by moving toward the 'calling song' of the nearest male cricket. This is known as its phonotaxis. The robot has microphones on each of its front 'legs', feeding an electronic neural processor which deciphers the call received, identifies it as the correct species, and compares the phase of the signals to determine its direction. The study with the robot resulted in new theories on cricket behaviour, particularly the importance of high repetition rates of the cricket's call.
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