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Dog-Like Device Developed to Rescue Disaster Victims

Dog-Like Device Developed to Rescue Disaster Victims

Tuesday, 22 May, 2018 - 04:45
A rescue dog searches the rubble in downtown Kathmandu, Nepal, April 28, 2015. (Reuters)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Researchers from the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) have developed a kind of electronic rescue dog that can detect smells and determine their nature.

Trained rescue dogs are still the best disaster workers, however, like all living creatures, dogs need to take breaks every now and again. They are also often not immediately available in disaster areas, and it may be hard to send rescue teams on time to distant disaster sites, the German News Agency reported.

The scientists had previously developed small and extremely sensitive gas sensors for acetone, ammonia, and isoprene, all metabolic products that we emit via our skin.

The researchers led by Sotiris Pratsinis, Professor of Process Engineering, however, managed to create a new device with two sensors for CO2 and moisture.

According to the Science Daily website, the new device may be useful when searching for entrapped people.

The researchers used a test chamber at the University of Innsbruck's Institute for Breath Research in Dornbirn as an entrapment simulator.

Researcher Andreas Güntner explained that the combination of sensors for various chemical compounds is important, because the individual substances could come from sources other than humans.

CO2, for example, could come from either a person or a fire source. Therefore, having more than one sensor provides the scientists with reliable indicators of the presence of people.

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