The Israel-based security firm X-Test is working on a way to train mice to detect explosives and other not-so-safe items at airport security checkpoints.
The tiny rodents will be carried in small cages and – like their canine counterparts – will be trained to react to certain smells.
“They’re as good as dogs as far as their ability to sense, but they’re smaller and easier to train,” explained X-Test vice-president Yuval Amsterdam.
“They’re cheap, and you don’t have to take them for a walk,” he added. “Once they are trained, they become bio-sensors.”
The mice can also be trained by a machine and in larger numbers and faster than dogs.
“We can teach them anything that has a scent – whether it’s explosives, whether it’s drugs, whether it’s ivory in Africa. Anything that has a smell.” Amsterdam said.