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Robots can detect sounds like a human ear does by measuring the pressure waves from sound and converting them into an electronic signal, this is how microphones and telephones work, you can see what your voice sounds like using an oscilloscope. However Robots can also detect other types of “sound”. For example by detecting echo’s, much like a bat or a dolphin, these detectors are used to detect earthquakes, search for fish as well as many other uses. These are both example of pressure waves, much like waves in water particles can be vibrated and this can be felt by small bones in the Ear, Jaw or other pressure detectors designed for sounds.

However some robots detect electromagnetic Radio waves, using it to “Hear” objects, this is known as Radar. Radar works a bit like Echo locators, where a pulse is sent out and reflects back to a detector, however unlike pressure waves electromagnetic waves use photons which can travel trhrough a vaccuum. Radio Waves can also be detected and transformed into a wave much like pressure waves so that we can listen to them. This is how a radio or walkie talkies work. This is vital for Astronauts especially during EVA (Extra Vehicular Activities or Space Walks) as regular sound waves do not travel through the vacuum of space.

Radar_antennaHumanEar

 

Further Materials, Resources & Information

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