News & Information

Snail Computers

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Jul 28, 2021 8:00 pm
  • 17:22

When scientists want to understand the secret life of a species like a medium- or large-sized animal—think of turtles, hawks, and whales, for example—they’ll often catch the animal and fit it with a transmitter to track its movement. But how do you strap a tracker to a snail’s tiny, lightweight shell or a butterfly’s fragile body? You need the world’s smallest computer, which was co-invented by University of Michigan engineering professor David Blaauw. (Segment produced by Martha Harris)