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Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
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Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 06 March
PRESENTER
SUE NELSON
Sue Nelson
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Thursday 06 March 2008
A Whiskerbot ...
A Whiskerbot ...
© Bristol Robotics Laboratory

Animal Robots

Scientists are looking at the whiskers and the extraordinary sensing abilities of the rat.

It’s lead to the creation of ‘whiskerbot’ a new type of robot that will be able to go into the places too dangerous for us humans to reach.

On its journey it will tell us more about how the human brain makes sense of what we sense everyday.

Sue Nelson is joined by Professor Tony Prescott, Adaptive Behaviour Research Group, Sheffield University and Dr Tony Pipe, IAS Laboratory, University of the West of England.

Plate Tectonics

The UK may have recently experienced its biggest earthquake in over 25 years, with toppling chimney pots a symbol of the shuddering events on the Earth’s surface, but just what is happening below our feet?

Sue Nelson talks to scientists who have discovered the first direct evidence of how and when the Earth’s crust, made up of rock plates, sinks downwards into the deepest reaches of the Earth.

Could this improve our ability to assess earthquake risk? Sue is joined by Dr Saskia Goes, Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College, University of London and Dr Arwen Deuss, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge.

Next week: Breathing batteries ... redesigning this power source for the 21st century.

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