New Scientist senses the tiniest air currents by a synthetic whisker:
The design consists of an artificial hair deposited on a silicon substrate and connected to it by a flexible hinge. When a magnetic field is applied, the hinge bends, causing the hairs to stand up straight. For protection, the hairs can be embedded in a polymer skin.
Movement of a hair can be monitored as it bends – a process that changes its resistance – creating an artificial hair cell that can “sense” its environment.
NASA’s planning on putting them in wind tunnels, which makes sense.