That’s right. Nothing is sacred in science, not even your dog’s amazing sense of smell. Japanese researchers Zhongyuan Yang, Fumihiro Sassa, and Kenshi Hayashi have now developed a robot that’s as good at smelling stuff as an actual, drooling bloodhound, but without the drool.
The doggobot uses a sensor based a technique called localised surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), which essentially allows it to pick up on light absorption changes caused by exposure to the odour-causing gas. In tests, the pupperdroid was able to sniff out ethanol sources – something it would be useful to be able to detect without using actual dogs (or humans), and the team says its wooftron has potential to be used within a multi-robot network or else as a security dog (to… detect drunk employees?).
Now, nothing this cool or scary happens by accident, and the research team had set out specifically to solve the issue of robots only being able to detect gases in the air, by developing a system which would be just as good as a bloodhound. So, congratulations, and let the hunt begin!