[ASC-media] Media release: Science world abuzz with insect robots

Jacinta Legg jacinta.legg at science.org.au
Tue Oct 17 03:22:30 CEST 2006


Tuesday October 17, 2006

Science world abuzz with insect robots

The Australian Academy of Science congratulates Professor Mandayam
Srinivasan on winning the 2006 Prime Minister's Prize for Science.
Srini, a Federation Fellow at the Australian National University, was
elected to the Academy of Science in 1995 and to the Royal Society of
London in 2001.

Academy President Professor Kurt Lambeck said: 'Srini cracked the code
of vision in the world of bees, demonstrating that the motion of the
passing landscape provides the bee with a third dimension to vision.
This is how bees regulate their flight and ensure a safe landing.

'It is Srini's exceptional ability to think laterally that has enabled
esoteric studies to be translated into applications of enormous

'Don't forget that the front-line troops in the rescue effort after the
Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11 were robots. Srini's machines can fly
without pilots and have the damage to prove it. His robots can "see"
around corners. This work has not escaped the attention of NASA.'

Professor Lambeck praised Srini as an exceptionally talented
inter-disciplinary scientist who has combined his expertise in maths
with his training as an engineer: 'I'm sure it is this background that
led Srini to devise novel experiments that gave new insights into insect

Professor Lambeck thanked the Prime Minister for his continued interest
in and support for science, stressing that this annual high-profile
award recognises the achievements of the Australian scientific community
and their contribution to the nation's social, economic and
environmental future.

Further information
The buzz about insect robots (Nova: Science in the news)

Biorobotics Vision Laboratory (Australian National University)

The Prime Minister's Prizes for Science

Media enquiries
Jacinta Legg, (02) 6201 9417, 0409 331 366, jacinta.legg at science.org.au

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