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Scientists Develop 'Backpack' Computers to Track Wild Animals in Hard-to-Reach Habitats

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A "Backpack" Computer

The wireless network "backpack" computers contain sensors the size of a fingertip.

Credit: Simon Ripperger

A team of engineers, computer scientists, and biologists from Ohio State University, several German universities, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama collaborated on the development of wireless attachable "backpack" computers that can be used to track tiny animals in hard-to-reach habitats.

The devices formed a network called the Broadly Applicable Tracking System, powered by batteries that each provide about 5% of a standard AAA battery's capacity. The backpacks feature accelerometers that generate data when the bats are moving and proximity sensors to indicate they are close to each other. Ground base stations pick up signals from the devices and record data on the animals' social activities and flight trajectories.

From Ohio State News 
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