Home Bots & Brains Robot dog ‘sniffs’ hazardous gases in inaccessible environments

Robot dog ‘sniffs’ hazardous gases in inaccessible environments

by Pieter Werner

A team of researchers has developed a quadruped robotic air sampler designed to navigate hazardous environments and test for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The robot, resembling a dog, is equipped with a mechanized arm capable of collecting air samples in dangerous situations such as abandoned buildings or fires. This innovation aims to protect humans from exposure to harmful chemicals.

The robot, described in a study published in ACS’ Analytical Chemistry, features an articulated arm mounted on its back. This arm is equipped with three needle trap devices (NTDs) that can collect air samples during its missions. Bin Hu and his colleagues, who led the development, tested the robot in various challenging environments, including garbage disposal plants, sewer systems, gasoline firegrounds, and chemical warehouses.

While the robot encountered difficulties navigating in rainy and snowy conditions, it successfully collected air samples and delivered them to a portable mass spectrometer (MS) for onsite analysis. This approach proved faster than transporting samples to an off-site laboratory and avoided exposing technicians to hazardous situations. The researchers believe that this robot-MS system offers a smart and safer method for detecting potentially harmful compounds. Further refinements are necessary, but the demonstrations indicate its potential value in dangerous conditions.

Image credit: Analytical Chemistry 2024, DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.4c01555

Misschien vind je deze berichten ook interessant