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2014-09-04    来源:foetunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


蟑螂可谓人见人恨。但在不久的将来,这些小昆虫或许将成为人类的大救星。武装到牙齿的蟑螂机器人可以穿过搜救犬或搜救人员无法进入的角落缝隙,帮助搜寻受困人员的呼救。 双语文章,很适合用于练习笔译喔。

Scientists at North Carolina State University are using Microsoft’s Kinect camera for something very different than video games. The insects, which seem able to withstand anything, may one day soon be helping emergency first responders navigate disaster wreckage. Because the bugs are so small, they can get through nooks and crannies that neither rescue dogs nor people can navigate. Researchers have been using Kinect, the same camera technology in Xbox 360 and PCs, to create a remote control that will enable people to guide the insects like a remote-controlled car. The cockroaches can be equipped with miniature cameras and can be sent in before dogs and humans, which allows emergency personnel to get a first look at the situation.
北卡罗来纳州立大学(North Carolina State University)的科学家正在使用微软(Microsoft)的Kinect摄像头,不过并不是用它来玩视频游戏,而是另有其他用途。昆虫似乎能够承受任何灾难,或许很快就将成为现场急救人员的得力助手,帮助他们在灾后废墟中展开搜救。由于昆虫小巧的体形,它们可以穿过搜救犬或搜救人员无法进入的角落缝隙。研究人员一直在使用Xbox 360和电脑上使用的摄像头技术Kinect,来研发一款远程控制装置,使人们可以像遥控汽车一样控制昆虫。配备微型摄像头的蟑螂,可以在搜救犬和搜救人员抵达之前,被派往灾难现场,帮助急救人员及时获得现场情况的第一手资料。

“For years, roboticists have been trying to mimic insects when building centimeter-scale robots,” said Dr. AlperBozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper on the work. “We came up with the idea of building a partnership with insects rather than trying to mimic them, similar to riding horses before our motorcycles and cars took over the streets. Roaches were the most easily accessible insects and are very robust walkers.”


The interface that controls the roach is wired to the roach’s antennae and cerci. The cerci are sensory organs on the roach’s abdomen, which are normally used to detect movement in the air that could indicate a predator is approaching – causing the roach to scurry away. But the researchers use the wires attached to the cerci to spur the insect into motion. The wires attached to the antennae send small charges that trick the roach into thinking the antennae are in contact with a barrier and steering them in the opposite direction.

Bozkurt’s team wanted to build an automated test platform where they could objectively assess whether they could turn an insect into an insect biobot. One criterion was to run the experiments in the dark, so they started to use a Kinect camera’s depth sensor to find the insect without any ambient light.

“The Kinect camera knows the path that needs to be followed by the insect,” said Bozkurt. “Then it divides this route into multiple waypoints and moves the insect from one waypoint to another. It detects the insect from its specific shape and it sends necessary waveforms to the backpack the insect is wearing. This backpack applies microvolts of impulses to the insect’s sensory organs, which helps us to steer the insect. It’s similar to riding a horse with reins.”

The program also uses Kinect to collect data on how the roaches respond to the electrical impulses from the remote-control interface. This data will help the researchers fine-tune steering to control the roaches more precisely. The team will employ Microsoft’s new Kinect 2.0, which debuted with Xbox One, to further push this experiment forward.
此外,该项目还使用Kinect来收集蟑螂对远程控制接口发出的电脉冲如何响应的数据。这些数据将帮助研究人员调整操控方式,以更加精确地控制昆虫。研究团队将使用微软的最新款Kinect 2.0来进一步推进实验。Kinect 2.0随Xbox One同步上市。

“The advanced audio processing on the sensor could also lead to some interesting scenarios when we try to make the insects move toward a sound source,” said Bozkurt.

Having performed very successful demonstrations in the laboratory environment, the team (which includes NC State professors Edgar Lobaton and MihailSichitiu) has received funding from the National Science Foundation’s Cyber-Physical Systems program to bring this technology into real-life scenarios. The goal is to accomplish this within three to four years.
该项目在实验室环境下的演示非常成功,研究团队(包括北卡州立大学教授埃德加•洛巴顿和米哈伊尔•斯契提尤)已经获得了美国国家科学基金会(National Science Foundation)信息物理系统(Cyber-Physical Systems)项目提供的资金,以尽快将该技术用于现实情境。团队的目标是在三至四年内实现该技术的实际应用。

“We are hoping that the swarm of insect biobots will be able to sweep the rubble from one end to another in a very short amount of time, while letting first responders hear any calls for help coming from the victims buried under the rubble, or let them know about the potential hazards such as gas leakages,” said Bozkurt.

According to Bozkurt, one of the most efficient methods in engineering has been “biomimetics,” where researchers have looked at nature, learned from the existing biosystems and applied different engineering principles to mimic these when solving real-life problems. Despite several inventions and explorations, humans are still limited in their understanding and ability to mimic the relatively more complicated properties of biological machines.

“As engineers performing research on biological organisms, we are often fascinated by the complexity and operational efficiency of these systems and demonstrate this appreciation through an amplified respectful attitude towards these organisms,” said Bozkurt.

One day soon, the sight of cockroaches will be a relief to disaster victims thanks to video game technology. And we may think twice before trying to stomp out cockroaches the next time we cross paths. After all, they were deigned to live through just about anything that mankind can throw at them.

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