You can tell it’s a quiet day when we start talking about robot snot, can’t you? Researchers at the Universities of Warwick and Leicester in the UK have apparently discovered that synthetic snot smeared on robot noses enables the electronic sniffing devices to identify a greater number of smells. And don’t expect to pay through the nose for the stuff (Robooger? Boogot? I Can’t Believe It’s Not Booger?) as a square of plastic with the snot enclosed costs just $10.
While the human schnozz has over 100 million sensors, artificial noses only have around 50, which severely limits their smelling range. A 10 micron-thick layer of a polymer normally used to separate gases was spread on the smelling sensors and used to test a variety of compounds. Apparently these synthetic boogers improved the robot noses, even picking out (oh, I am on FIRE today) previously hard-to-identify odors such as milk and bananas.