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Smell

Odors appear to emanate from different regions of the 'smell screen'

Localized dimming is a feature found in many televisions these days, but what about a display capable of producing localized smells? That’s exactly what a team from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan has created. The “smelling screen” that was recently presented at the IEEE Virtual Reality 2013 conference in Orlando, Florida can produce odors that appear to emanate from specific areas of the screen.  Read More

The silkmoth-piloted robot

In the future, we may have autonomous robots that follow scents to track down gas leaks, rescue disaster victims trapped in debris, or perform other duties. While the algorithms that drive such robots could perhaps just be made up from scratch, scientists from the University of Tokyo are instead looking to the insect world for inspiration. To that end, they recently created a two-wheeled robot that was successfully driven by female-seeking male silkmoths.  Read More

A team of UCSB researchers have mimicked the anatomy of a dog's nose to build a highly eff...

Combining nanotechnology and microfluidics, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have created a high-performance detector that draws inspiration from the anatomy of a dog's nose to accurately identify substances – including explosives and narcotics – from very small concentrations of airborne molecules.  Read More

Goddard technologist Nithin Abraham analyzes a sample of gas-adsorbing paint (Photo: NASA/...

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland is working to eliminate new car smell. No, they aren't a bunch of killjoys. That distinctive odor is caused by outgassing of chemicals used in car manufacturing. Some scientists believe these gases to be harmful, but whether they are or not, satellites suffer from the same problem. The gases released by satellites themselves can damage them, so NASA is working on new ways to control or eliminate these emissions.  Read More

Bus shelters across the UK will smell like baked potatoes, thanks to a new advertising cam...

With the assistance of signage suppliers JCDecaux, McCain - makers of a variety of oven-cooked potato products - have come up with a novel advertising campaign to promote their ready-baked baked potatoes. Bus shelters in cities across the UK are to be fitted with smell-emitting advertisements designed to mimic the aroma of a slow-baked potato.  Read More

Sound Perfume glasses - side view (Photo: Yongsoon Choi)

Researchers from Keio University in Tokyo created glasses designed to augment the wearer's experience by providing additional audio and olfactory stimuli during social encounters. Fitted with speakers and scent emitters, the spectacles emit sound and smell signals unique to the person you meet. This eyewear is clearly more than just a fashion accessory. Rather, in the words of its makers, it is an attempt to encourage face-to-face communication with emotional and memorable sound and smell experiences.  Read More

Olf-Action might want to add a 'Smell of Blood' cartridge for use with its SMELLIT device ...

Releasing scents during the projection of a film reportedly predates the introduction of sound. One early attempt at "Smell-O-Vision" involved a wad of cotton soaked in rose oil being placed in front of an electric fan during a newsreel in 1906, but despite such experiments, this is one technology that just hasn't taken off ... although the quest to add an extra olfactory experience to movies and, more recently, video games continues. This latest effort comes from French company Olf-Action which has created SMELLIT - a device designed to bring an aromatic dimension to your video game and movie experiences.  Read More

Mint Urban Technologies has introduced an aromatic coffee lid for take-away cups, which it...

Hong Kong-based Mint Urban Technologies has introduced an aromatic coffee lid for take-away cups which it claims improves the taste of coffee when drinking through the lid. The aroma is not "mint," as the company's ill-chosen name suggests, but an aromatic material formulated to enhance the bouquet of the coffee. The secret of the new Aroma Lid is in the plastic, according to Mint's Marc Miller. "Coffee lids block the aroma coming from the coffee," says Miller. "Because taste is 95 percent smell, the lids are stopping us from experiencing the full taste of our favorite morning brew." If the Aroma Lid can indeed enhance the taste of coffee, it could be a significant product - the take-away coffee industry uses 100 billion lids every year.  Read More

Scientists have grafted olfactory receptors onto carbon nanotubes, in a step towards produ...

While people may have laughed at the mechanical-nose-bearing Odoradar device that Elmer Fudd once used to track Bugs Bunny, the development of real devices that can "smell" recently took a step forward, as researchers from the University of Pennsylvania grafted olfactory receptor proteins onto carbon nanotubes. These proteins are ordinarily located on the outer membrane of cells within the nose. When chemicals that enter the nose bind with the proteins, a cellular response is triggered, that leads to the perception of smell. It is hoped that a synthetic version of that same response could be possible, within sensing devices incorporating the nanotubes.  Read More

A London designer has created a sweating robotic armpit, intended to make it easier for hu...

When we think of robots, we tend to think of clean, antiseptic automatons that don’t suffer from yucky things like halitosis, flatulence or body odor ... unlike us humans. According to London designer Kevin Grennan, however, this difference alienates us from robots, and will keep us from ever fully accepting them as anything other than machines. His solution? Robots that secret human odors, in situations in which people would secrete those odors. While some of his odor-secreting devices are purely conceptual, he has produced a working model of at least one – a sweating robotic armpit.  Read More

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