Animal I.T.

In Animal I.T. we explore the world of animal senses and animal intelligence. We may think we’re the smartest creatures on earth but animals often see and hear far more than we can. Their senses are more finely tuned and their responses much faster. Human roboticists are now turning to animal tech for inspiration in building the next generation of artificially intelligent machines.

Produced by NHNZ

Are all robots mindless automatons? Or are we about to enter a new era of machines that think like animals? Our technology is evolving as we learn more and more from animal inventors.

Because nature has found simple solutions to complex problems, human inventors are already finding new ways of sensing the world around them. We’re making better hearing aids thanks to a fly that has its ears on its chest, and scientists are redesigning fire detectors based on a beetle that can detect flames from 50 miles away!

Today’s robots may still be a long way from the simple elegance of natural design, but we’ve managed to build everything from a cyber-cricket that mimics an insect’s brain, to Kismet, a computer that sulks if you don’t play with it.

Maybe one day we’ll be able to build a new generation of machines that will be able to think for themselves. After all, nature is smart. Are we smart enough to listen?

Episodes From This Series

Animal I.T.

1 hour / 2001

Animal Engineers

1 hour / 2001

Animal Magicians

1 hour / 2001

Witches Were Right About Frogs

2 Minutes / 2007

Scorpions Cure Cancer

3 Minutes / 2007

Pufferfish Propellers

2 Minutes / 2007

Polar Bears Have Black Skin

2 Minutes / 2007

Life in the Freezer Exists

2 Minutes / 2007

Invisibility Cloaks

2 Minutes / 2007

How to Catch a 747 with Spider Silk

2 Minutes /

Crayfish on Mars

2 Minutes / 2007

A Modern House from Ancient Animals

2 Minutes / 2007