Researchers create 3D-printed ‘dog nose’ that can detect explosives, narcotics

3d-printed dog nose

A team of researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology have achieved a milestone in artificial sniffing technology. According to their study published in the Journal Scientific Report, they created an artificial dog-inspired plastic nose via 3D printing. The nose was programmed to take multiple sniff instead of single, constant act of air suction similar to dogs.  The artificial nose was attached to an explosives detector. The results were highly efficient.

The machine became 16 times sensitive. It accurately detected odors from a distance of four centimeters. The rate of exhalation and inhalation is five times per second. The odor collected in these five sniffs is then analyzed by approximately 300 million receptor cells.  As Labrador retriever is known as the best sniffer dog, the plastic nose was dedicated to this species.

By mimicking the way a dog sniffs, we can improve the performance of commercial trace vapor detection systems. Our findings suggest that the next generation of… detection systems may benefit from lessons learned from the canine,

Study co-author Matthew Staymates.

Not only explosives, but the method would lead to enhancement in detection of narcotics, pathogens, and rescue operations. There is also a possibility that the research will help in detection of cancer as well.

Their incredible air-sampling efficiency is one reason why the dog is such an amazing chemical sampler.It’s just a piece of the puzzle. There’s lots more to be learned and to emulate as we work to improve the sensitivity, accuracy and speed of trace-detection technology,

Staymates added.



Madan has been writing about eco-friendly gadgets and technologies for over 5 years now. He has an inclination for all things green and wonderful. He is a local social activist with a global vision. When not writing, Madan can be seen capturing the best of urban wildlife in his DSLR lens.

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