Sensors on Lobster’s Nose: End of Landmines?

“A Florida spiny lobster is more than a main dish” argue the scientist of Florida searching ways to help army detect landmines and hidden explosives from a safer distance through lobster sniffing around for food on the sea floor.


Sensors placed on a lobster nose may unveil the whereabouts of landmines and possibly decrease loss of human lives that affect the entire planet. Before going back to how will this thing function, let’s take a look at the horrifying figures of hidden killers;
Total Number of Land Mines:
110 million in 64 countries
Human Cost of Land Mines:
800 deaths a month, mostly innocent civilians, with thousands more maimed for life
Dollar cost of land-mines:
To buy one $3-$10 / To remove one $300-$1,000

Well, back to work, a lobster’s “nose” actually capture odor molecules with a pair of hairy antennules and those molecules settle on the hairs and assist the creatures locate an odor, researchers at the University of Florida said. Researchers’ findings that have been published in the January issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, may provide hints on ways to improve the devices to detect landmines and other explosives, said Jose Principe, an electrical and computer engineer professor on the research team.


From a safer distance is always better from the exact location, because it can be too late. This is exactly what the researchers are after. Current detectors “sniff out” explosive materials, but always need a human handling the electronic nose to pinpoint the exact location, Principe said. A new device using a “lobster nose” could direct human handlers to the source from a safe distance.

Each bursting neuron responds to a whiff at a different frequency for a lobster and sensing the time between whiffs helps the lobster pinpoint the source, says Barry W. Ache, a distinguished professor of neuroscience and biology and director of the University of Florida’s Center for Smell and Taste.

Lobster olfactory cells with an advanced Computer modeling helped the team conceptualize how a lobster was extracting and processing information from the environment, Principe said. 

I now look at lobsters from a different point of view than super-expensive dishes in a NY restaurant.



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