Central regions | Technology & innovation

Electronic sense of smell rivals human

3 Mar '21
The electronic nose is another invention on the road to global artificial intelligence. Russian scientists have proposed a unique odor recognition system. And it already surpasses the human sense of smell in some way. For example, the smell of coffee. The electronic nose will put this coffee on the shelves: is it overcooked, how much flavor. It can even identify who drinks it, for example, by the smell of lipstick.

A little salt, seasoning. Chicken breast is always delicious. The main thing is not to overcook. Italian-born restaurateur William Lamberti has his own secrets of tender and juicy meat. But he never cooked like that - along with him, artificial intelligence with an electronic nose monitors the quality of the roast.
All human senses are replaced, there is computer vision, we replace eyes with a camera, nose - with an electronic nose, says Fyodor Fedorov, senior researcher at the Laboratory of Nanomaterials at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.
Believe it or not, this device can breathe in odors, recognize them and tell by one aroma how ready the dish is.
Today there is an electronic nose, tomorrow there will be an electronic hand that will fry, and that's it, says restaurateur William Lamberti.
Of course, Russian scientists do not declare war on cooks. This is a demonstration of unique odor recognition technology. The best scientific journals told about the experiment. The principle is spied on by nature.

There are millions of special cells in our nose - our olfactory receptors. It is they who interact with the molecules of gaseous substances. As soon as the receptor and the molecule meet, a chemical reaction occurs, which our brain perceives as a smell. The electronic nose is similar. Only instead of receptors inside nanomaterials of various structures. When molecules hit them, different chemical reactions from different substances occur, and this is how the machine distinguishes smells.
The device itself can be used as an assistant, which prompts: a little more - and you will overcook, spoil, says Fyodor Fedorov, senior researcher at the Laboratory of Nanomaterials at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.
And now the electronic nose gives a signal - the meat is ready. What does the restaurant pro say?
Pink! Ideally! Juicy, said the restaurateur.

We can congratulate him, he showed that the meat is ready, I believe that its a draw here, says Fedor Fedorov, senior researcher at the Laboratory of Nanomaterials at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.
The device works in conjunction with artificial intelligence capable of learning. It was enough for the electronic nose to sniff a chicken once at all stages of cooking, and now he remembered how its smell changes forever. The technology can be used not only for cooking, but also for storing food.

This sophisticated device is the prototype of what will be in every home refrigerator in the future. Honestly, this experiment smells bad. But only because scientists deliberately make food go bad. Here is a piece of meat that is not the first freshness. And the electronic nose feels it. He picks up the slightest shades of odors. And if you are in doubt, then the technique will not be mistaken.

Russian scientists also plan to conduct research on the safety of plastic used to store food and water. Some synthetic materials can be harmful, and the electronic nose will feel it. The technology can also be used to quickly analyze air quality or be used in medicine. It is possible to teach the device to find dangerous molecules in the very respiration of a person and easily diagnose diseases.
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