Sunday, March 27, 2005

Smell detection

You read all the time about the things that dogs can do with smell. For example, they can track human beings by scent through the woods. They can also detect bombs and drugs inside of luggage, and even sniff out contraband fruit.

What I need right now is that same ability packaged as a consumer product. I do not want a dog. I need an automated (preferably robotic) smell detector like that for the home.

If you are a parent, you know why I need a device like this. Right now I've got one room in the house that is emitting a mysterious, penetrating odor. If I had a smell-detecting robot, I'd put it in the room and let it track down the source of the odor in two minutes.

Why do parents need such a device? I've got four kids, ages 7, 5, 2 and 2. The two-year-olds are in the middle of the toilet-consciousness phase (again if you are a parent you will understand). And none of the kids are particularly fastidious when it comes to neatness. So the smell could be anything. It could be some sort of biotoxin spilled on the rug. It could be a ham sandwich stuffed into a VCR. It could be an old diaper that the twins hid somewhere. It could be something else, like a squirrel that died in a wall... There is no way to know, and the human nose is useless for a job like this.

Why not just get a dog? I don't know... maybe it is just me. I've had a lot of dogs (up to eight at one point) and they have been great. I love dogs. But, at least in my case, I've found that the dogs tend to be pretty smelly themselves. In other words, while they may be great at detecting bombs, when you actually live with one they create a lot of smell problems of their own. There's the occasional "accident", the tendency to roll in dead animals they find in the yard, the desire to rip open and eat the garbage, etc. In general, I think dogs are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

What I want is a nice, clean, smell detecting robot that is itself odor-free. If it could also do the vacuuming, and maybe some light babysitting, that would be great...

how do u create something that detects smell? If u can create something to detect smell, how do u make it to differentiate the smell?
i hope u reply interested too..
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