Throughout human history, dogs have long been one of the greatest tools we've honed for detecting scent, extending humanity's reach with capabilities fine enough to sense viruses, cancer, explosives, and controlled substances to name a few, leading a research team to use biomimicry to identify the structures and methodology that enable dogs to have such potent olfactory capabilities. Through flow visualization and computer simulation, NIST Mechanical Engineer Matthew Staymates and his research team identified the rapid inhalation and exhalation sniffing action allows dogs to detect scents over a larger area by blowing downward and to the sides roughly 5 times a second. The researchers then applied the same sniffing action to off the shelf chemical sensors and were able to realize a 16-fold increase in detection capabilities over the continuously drawing chemical sensor design. Veritasium provides this fascinating dive into Matthew Staymates' NIST laboratory to talk about the tools and methods used to define the future.
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