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A New Device Can “Sniff” Out COVID-19 & Bombs

Airbus with Koniku, a small Silicon Valley startup, is working on devices called “Electronic Noses” at airports and on aircraft.

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A New Device Can “Sniff” Out COVID-19 & Bombs

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Muhammad Mubeen Javed

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Airbus with Koniku, a small Silicon Valley startup, is working on devices called “Electronic Noses” at airports and on aircraft.

Koniku initially developed these sensors for detecting explosives. Now Airbus is working on a device to detect Coronavirus as well.

The sensors look like a jellyfish. It can stick to different surfaces. It employs a silicon processor bolstered by living cells.

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Founder of Koniku, Oshiorenoya Agabi said:
“These sensors can detect smells. It’s breathing the air. It’s telling us what’s in the air. We take biological cells like Hek cells or astrocytes — brain cells. We modify them to have olfactory receptors. You wake up in the morning, you breathe on our device. We are analyzing, in a longitudinal fashion, your state of health. That is one of our big visions.”

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Around the World, odor detection has been a huge part of security, especially aviation security. Trained K9s carried out this task at border crossings, airports, and seaports. Dogs have also been trained to detect illnesses like cancer. Koniku replicated the biological cells to mimic what bomb-sniffing dogs can do.

Koniku and Airbus plan on the live testing of the sensors by the end of this year.

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