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Locating the exact position of objects is extremely important for both robots and self-propelled cars. Conventional sonar sensors that use sound impulses for measurement, however, sometimes provide ambiguous results. As a result, they are of only limited use for industry. Researchers at the universities of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Antwerp and Amsterdam have now taken nature as their muse: Over the course of evolution, some South American plants have developed flower parts that serve as sonar reflectors. They are thus acoustically easier to spot for the bats that pollinate them. The scientists have artificially reproduced both corresponding sonar systems as well as reflectors . They claim that this has enabled them to significantly increase navigation efficiency.

This would not be the first time that bionics has been successful. In 2018, the Upper Austrian Future Academy compiled a large number of further examples. In the past, for instance, the three-dimensional perception of the praying mantis or the way spiders move served as models for robots.