Thursday, 11 December 2014

Spider-style sensor detects vibrations

11 December 2014 Last updated at 11:39

By Jonathan Webb
Science reporter, BBC News

By copying the design of an organ found in spiders' legs, engineers in South Korea have built a sensor that can detect miniscule vibrations.

It works because the vibrations open and close cracks in a very thin layer of platinum, changing its conductivity.

A similar slit-based system is found inside the joints of some spiders.

The team reports in the journal Nature that when they stick their sensor to the neck or wrist, it can read out what someone says - or their pulse.

Speaking to BBC News, Prof Mansoo Choi said the project began two years ago, when one of his colleagues at Seoul National University read a paper in the same journal.

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