Feeds

Eggheads give two robots vodka and tell them to text each other FOR SCIENCE

Cyber-pheromone cocktails shaken, not stirred

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Academics have developed a method for delivering text messages through vodka spritzed into the air.

Unlike conventional vodka-powered texts – which involve lemon drops, smartphones and lingering regret – this new experimental system uses the alcohol itself as the medium for delivery.

The trio of researchers – Nariman Farsad and Professor Andrew W. Eckford at York University in Toronto, and Weisi Guo at the UK's University of Warwick – said their technology provides wireless communication between two robotic systems, which analyze concentrations of alcohol and convert the data into coded messages. Their boffinry was published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Public Library of Science under the title "Tabletop molecular communication: Text messages through chemical signals".

According to the eggheads, the sender sprays vodka at set intervals and concentrations to mimic a binary pattern of 1s and 0s. A second unit, placed four metres away in laboratory tests, then analyses the concentrations of the alcohol in the air and converts the data into digital code and characters, effectively receiving the transmitted missive.

"Our goal was to show that we could use chemical signals to transfer info instead of radio," said Nariman Farsad, doctoral candidate at York's Lassonde School of Engineering, who headed up the effort.

"We wanted to build a simple setup that other researchers could also use."

In controlled tests using the aid of a small fan, the trio were able to successfully transmit the text message "O CANADA" between two units. The team likened it to the pheromone and urine marking systems many animals species use to communicate over long distances.

The academics believe that such platforms can be implemented as backup measures should conventional wireless communications be disabled in emergency situations or in confined spaces where multiple robotic units are operating in sync.

"One robot could drive along and leave a pattern of chemical dots," explained Professor Eckford.

"The second robot drives over that strip reads the dots and it would work like a chemical bar code."

The researchers hope that the system could eventually be scaled down to serve as a means of communication for nano-scale machines. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.