Monday, March 28, 2016

Sensor System to Detect Gases

For this blog, I have chosen an article about a prototype sensor system. This system is supposedly able to detect dangerous gases and estimate their concentration levels as well. In order to accomplish these two goals, the system makes the detection of gases a visual process. This means that an array of chemical compounds in the system will change color due to whatever gas is present. The images of the color changes are then analyzed and interpreted.

One main point that I would like to emphasize is that the article mentions how this system is low cost. This would then appear to serve as something that would be beneficial, since it is not costly to implement. When businesses come up with new products or designs, it is usually very expensive to implement a bunch of new products right away. However, the article mentions more than once how this prototype system is low-cost, which would serve to be very advantageous since a high expense would not be an issue. A second point that I would like to emphasize is the fact that this system can be “fully integrable with other control systems.” It only requires the use of everyday machines like webcams and minicomputers; it does not require highly specialized equipment. One last point I would like to emphasize is that the article mentions how this sensor system could be used in other contexts, not just detecting gases. For example, the article states that it can be used to evaluate “the quality of foodstuffs wrapped in plastic packaging.” Therefore, this system can be applied for other uses, not just one activity.

Although this product seems to be a very good one, there are some things that the article overlooks. For one, it can be time consuming. A lot of analyzing is required in order to interpret with each of the color changes mean. A second thing that the article overlooked is the fact that it can be “susceptible to human error and interpretation”, as stated by an outside source. Human beings make mistakes and therefore can incorrectly interpret data that they receive from these sensor systems. Lastly, what if the sensor system, for some reason, fails? If it stops working, then what will people turn to and use to detect remote gases? Additionally, there are a list of dangerous gases, not just carbon monoxide, nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Can this sensor system detect gases other than these three gases mentioned in the article?


  1. I found the new technology mentioned in this post to be very interesting and informative. One thing that I am wondering about is how this system could be used. What kind of place would use this system and how would it be beneficial? Also, another thing I thought of is how this system has a low cost. Since a new technology is being formed, I find it intriguing that it is kept at a low cost.

  2. This new technology seems very important to guarantee the safety of people in everyday places. Gases like CO and NO are very harmful especially when they are found in houses where people spend the majority of their time. People can be killed from ingesting to much of these gases and not even knowing they were in the house because they are odorless and colorless. I think it is very interesting that if this technology works it can be used to test other things like food but I find it hard to believe the cost is relatively low. Something that is this useful and important in protecting human life should cost some money to make and even more money to make even better. I think Kristen makes a good point in asking if this technology can only test for those three gases because there is a lot more deadly gases in the world.


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