The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?  (Read 5799 times)

Offline horizon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 286
    • View Profile
Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« on: 07/01/2011 14:59:26 »
Hi

I remember a news story a year or 2 ago that said scientists were working to perfect a new technology in which "living olfactory cells" would be placed on electronic chips, offering an accurate sense of smell as an option for portable devices.

Do you think gadgets will ever replace sniffer dogs?

It would be great for police in regards to detecting bombs and drugs.

thanks
« Last Edit: 07/01/2011 15:01:46 by horizon »


 

Offline imatfaal

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2787
  • rouge moderator
    • View Profile
Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« Reply #1 on: 07/01/2011 15:09:21 »
The sniffer dogs at my underground station most days not only seem to perform their security duties (I guess explosive detection but possibly drugs as well), they seem to cheer up the commuters.  The dogs at st james's park tend to be setters and other gundogs and they are undeniably cute and playful and cause a smile to creep across many a wage-slave's face.  Cannot see any cell-on-a-chip doing this.
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« Reply #2 on: 08/01/2011 04:25:52 »
So, is the question whether we're approaching a time of mechanical dogs like in Fahrenheit 451?

I've been amazed that I just don't see many dogs in the airports in the USA.

Perhaps it is different in Europe.

Here they have little white swabs that they will swab around in your suitcases, then analyse them for explosive residues. 

I think this may be the process.

http://www.spectrex.com/html_files2/pdf/XD-2Manual12-09.pdf

Apparently the little 4-footed friends have been replaced by machines here, although I do wonder if the natural sniffing would be quicker and more accurate.
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« Reply #3 on: 08/01/2011 05:31:57 »
I recall seeing a report some months ago on an electronic nose that is now much more sensitive then a dogs nose. It has to put the air collected through a system into a liquid that then allows the device to function. 
Sorry I cannot remember any more about that..

On another note here is a link to Enose that NASA have developed that can detect one part in a million of any substance.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/06oct_enose/
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« Reply #4 on: 08/01/2011 06:06:45 »
On another note here is a link to Enose that NASA have developed that can detect one part in a million of any substance.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/06oct_enose/
I think dogs sniff on the order of parts per billion (1000x times what the NASA device is reported to be able to detect.

However, the new devices are now detecting in the parts per trillion range.

http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/26327/?a=f

Poor Fido
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« Reply #5 on: 08/01/2011 06:26:30 »
I wonder if these new devices could be used to smell someone, using them for tracking for example.  Do we all smell differently at such a level of sensitivity, like a chemical fingerprint. It would add a whole new perspective on Geezers question about anal glands! 
 

Offline horizon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 286
    • View Profile
Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« Reply #6 on: 08/01/2011 15:00:58 »
On another note here is a link to Enose that NASA have developed that can detect one part in a million of any substance.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/06oct_enose/
I think dogs sniff on the order of parts per billion (1000x times what the NASA device is reported to be able to detect.

However, the new devices are now detecting in the parts per trillion range.

http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/26327/?a=f

Poor Fido


wow, so it looks like the answer is yes.

If they prove to be effective & they become cheap to make, probably most police officers will carry them, also they could have perminent ones set up at all underground station entrances, airline customs, even nightclub entrances, schools etc.
they could become the ultimate technology to actually start winning the so-called "war on drugs", depending on their cost.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 15:06:25 by horizon »
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« Reply #7 on: 08/01/2011 19:35:51 »
1984 here we come!
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« Reply #8 on: 08/01/2011 22:36:39 »
1984 here we come!
It was Fahrenheit 451 that had the mechanical dog.

I like your idea of a scent fingerprint. 
I can see a new application of keyless entry doors.

I suppose the risk is whether it could be faked, but I could see a huge industry for passive identification.
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« Reply #9 on: 10/01/2011 07:20:09 »
1984 here we come!
It was Fahrenheit 451 that had the mechanical dog.

I like your idea of a scent fingerprint. 
I can see a new application of keyless entry doors.

I suppose the risk is whether it could be faked, but I could see a huge industry for passive identification.


This technology could also be used in the medical industry for diagnosing certain illnesses that produce very specific smells.  Maybe even cancer causes a change in smell?  If people had these kind of devices it would be an excellent way of using preventative medicine to detect all sorts of problems.  I can imagine a smell detector with audio telling you that you have a flu virus in a contagious form and that you should stay inside today to prevent it from spreading.... imagine the cost benefits to society of such a device.  PS. Thanks for the stimuli CliffordK  ;D
« Last Edit: 10/01/2011 07:24:54 by Airthumbs »
 

Offline horizon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 286
    • View Profile
Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« Reply #10 on: 10/01/2011 15:03:27 »
yes, i thought about that, as Ive heard dogs can detect cancer,
although i dont know if they would be more effective then self awareness/self checking etc,
i wonder if its the actual cancer they smell or the effects of the cancer (hormones etc)?
 
   
« Last Edit: 10/01/2011 15:09:35 by horizon »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Will technology ever replace sniffer dogs?
« Reply #10 on: 10/01/2011 15:03:27 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums