Robots have long been used to replace repetitive human labour, butscientists at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom areworking on a project that would automate more animal endeavour.

Introducing the robotic ferret, designed for cargo screening at seaports and airports, according to The Telegraph.

The foot-long ferret would be placed inside a steel freightcontainer, attaching itself magneticly to the top. It would then scurryaround inside, um, ferreting out contraband. Using laser scanners andfibre optic technology, it would be able to screen not just the densityof the material inside, but also its composition. It would be able todetect contraband and explosives by their particle “fingerprints,”according to the paper.

Assuming, of course, it doesn’t get distracted by something shiny.

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