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BBC News:小动物机器人或成发明趋势

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小动物机器人或成发明趋势

US scientists have unveiled a new breed of tiny robots, which were inspired by minute creaturesuch as termites. They've been put on display at the American Association for theAdvancement of Science meeting in Chicago. And researchers say robots of the future are likelyto resemble small animals rather than the humanoid butlers seen in science fiction. From theconference our science correspondent Pallab Ghosh reports.

美国科学家最近揭晓了一种微型机器人,灵感来源于微小生物,如白蚁等。在芝加哥举行的美国科学促进协会对这些微型机器人进行了会议展览。研究人员称,未来的机器人很可能趋向于模仿小动物,而不是科幻片里的机器人管家。我们的科学记者帕拉博·高希从会议现场发回了报道。

"In the 1970s, this is how we imagine robots to be in the future. 40 years on, and this is howthey've turned out, tiny robot ants, not dusting or making tea, but trying to find their wayhome. But why build robots based on ants? Their creator Professor Buffler Webb at theEdinburgh University explains. "

“在20世纪70年代,这是我们想象中的未来机器人。40年过去了,现在的情况是这样的,小 型蚂蚁机器人不是在打扫卫生,也不是在为人类倒茶,而是在寻找自己回家的路。但为什么我们要以蚂蚁为原型发明机器人呢?它们的创造者,爱丁堡大学的比夫 莱·韦伯教授为我们解答了这一问题”

"If you've ever tried to build a robot yourself, you cannot help but be amazed when you nowlook at an animal, even a very simple animal and how well it interacts with the world, how manycompetences it has, how compound it is."

“如果你发明过机器人,那么当你看到动物尤其是非常简单的小动物时,你会惊异于它的生存方式,它的各种能力以及它精巧的身体构造。”

"Professor Webb spent several weeks studying a type of ant in Spain. She was amazed that itcould process complex visual information in its tiny brain. And so back at the lab, shereproduced it in robot form."

“韦伯教授花了数周时间研究西班牙的一种蚂蚁。令她吃惊的是,这种蚂蚁可以在它小小的头脑中处理复杂的视觉信息。因此,回到实验室,她就以蚂蚁为原型发明了机器人。”

"Ants are fantastic navigators. They remember what they see in the way that we mightrecognize what we see when we learn our way around a new city. But they do all of it with abrain that's smaller that the head of a pin and with very poor vision. And so we really areinterested to try and understand and replicate their capabilities."

“蚂蚁是认路高手,和我们认路的方式几乎一致,但是它们的大脑只有针鼻大小,而且视力也不好。所以,我们对此很感兴趣,想试着理解和复制它们的能力。”

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Professor Malcom Makaiva became enamored with another little creature.

与此同时,在芝加哥,马尔科姆·马凯瓦教授对另一种小生物产生了兴趣。

"The inspiration is a group of fish that live in the rivers of the Amazon. And those rivers arevery very murky. So as a result they've had to evolve a different way to sense what they doas they generate a weak electric field around their body and they are able to navigate andthey also communicate and hunt using that field."

“我的灵感来源于亚马逊的一种鱼群,它们生存的河水非常阴暗,为了适应环境,在身体周围产生微弱的电场,从而能够感应周围环境,认清方向,相互交流,以及进行觅食。”

"So he took some back to his lab at Northwestern University in Chicago and he showed me howtheir remarkable natural electric fields work. "

“因此,他把一些鱼带回他在芝加哥西北大学的实验室,并且向我展示了不同寻常的天然电场的工作原理。

"If we dip the wires from a speaker into the tank, that electric field gets translated into sound."

“如果我们把音箱中的电线沉入鱼缸,那么电场将被转化为声音。”

"The fish uses these fields rather like radar to sense their surroundings. Professor Macaiva hasmade some robot fish that mimic the real ones. "

“鱼儿就是用这些雷达一样的电场感应周围环境的。马凯瓦教授根据这个原理发明了一些机器鱼。”

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