An fart app -- and robot! -- combination has won a popular science prize in China, taking home the award not for making funny noises like bottoms make, but using air dynamics to work out who may have been responsible for any public polluting of the atmosphere with last night's fermented curry leftovers.
There is some proper science behind it too, with student Ji-Gong Li's paper appearing to suggest a future in which fart-sensing robots might trail around polite society, homing in on and shaming those responsible. The author explains the methods with: "When the odor plume clue is found, the robot performs an exploratory behavior, such as a plume-tracing strategy, to collect more information about the previously unknown odor source."
"In parallel, the information collected by the robot is exploited by the PF-based OSL algorithm to estimate the location of the odor source in real time," he continues, as if the lifts and reception areas of the future will come with anti-fart bots designed to track and extract spot penalties from gaseous folk. [The Register]