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You know that red muscle that hides behind your teeth? The thing with more bumps than one of Peter Jackson's dwarves? The thing that Miley Cyrus can't keep from spilling out? It may soon be obsolete. At least in the world of beer tasting.
A group of Barcelona researchers have developed a prototype robot "tongue" that can identify different types of beer with an accuracy rate of 82%, according to a study published in Food Chemistry. The tongue looks more like an analog synthesizer than something out of Alien.
Email allows us to communicate much faster than we could in the era of stamps and envelopes. Shopping online saves us time and sometimes money. What will the e-tongue do for us?
In an NPR piece about the tongue, Manel del Valle, one of the study's authors and a roboticist at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, imagined that brewers could eventually use the technology for "quality control." De Valle also said he was partnering with forensic scientists to tailor his future robot tongue innovations to the needs of crime scene investigators.
Now that's a cop show we look forward to.