Hands up who wants to do maintainance inspections in nuclear power plants? No, me neither – it’s not a job that people queue up for. So robots are the obvious answer, but how will they be able to see their surroundings well enough to do a proper survey? Nature abounds with great templates for technology, and this time the super-accurate sonar skills of bats are the inspiration for a new breed of experimental inspection robots here in the UK. They’re still at the proof-of-concept stage, of course, but the developers hope to have the end product doing the business within a decade or so.