Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Secret Life Bees: Diagnostics

Artist Susana Soares is creating a series of beautiflly crafted chambers that collect air samples, or breath samples. Her BEE'S project builds on bee's acute odor perception.  In my book, these a wonderful example of good elegant design that can have wonderful apps in the developing world. No electronic noses, or fancy micromechanical systems, or complex diagnostic arrays: just a handful of dutiful bees trained to be attracted to something which produces a yes/no response. 

Another company is working on using the bees as portable explosives detectors.

This reminds of a previous project funded by the World Bank to use trained rats to smell and detect TB in samples. I like the Soares approach more though, after all, no one's put a rat on a cereal box design yet.

More at Proto

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