Bomb Detector Powered by Bee Tongue

Illustration for article titled Bomb Detector Powered by Bee Tongue

A company named Inscentinel Ltd. has developed Vapour Detection Instrumentation with the promise of detecting explosives, cancer, drugs and basically anything you'd like to smell. And for this advanced olfactory detection, Inscentinel is deploying the world's most advanced techniques—trained bee tongue.

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The company literally trains bees as a police force might train dogs. Using Pavlovian principles, the bees are given a food reward when they sniff, let's say, cocaine. Over time, the bees are conditioned to stick out their tongues in hunger over the smell of this substance.

Illustration for article titled Bomb Detector Powered by Bee Tongue
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Then, in a highly scientific operation, the bees are taped to your measurement device. A camera closely tracks the bee tongues while the you pray that the SWAT team really is on their way (lest you need to release your "measurement device" for self-defense).

We're planning on going back to bed now. And when we wake up, we'd better not see any more bee bomb detectors. [product via geekologie]

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DISCUSSION

I was just reading the company's website, this is classic (follow the "Our Bees" link):

Bees are happy undertaking their sniffing tasks and are comfortable throughout, only healthy bees work effectively.

That should silence PETA.

So how, exactly, do you tell if a bee is happy? And who wouldn't be happy being taped to a lump of plastic until you die?