Drones with “Digital Dog Nose” Sensors Could Replace Actual Dogs for Bomb Detection

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A drone being developed by researchers at the University of Rhode Island has the potential to replace dogs for detecting bombs.

The drone itself is just an ordinary quadcopter—a DJI Phantom 3, to be exact.

What makes the drone unique is a special sensor attached to it that allows the drone to “smell” different substances, such as the materials used in explosives.


Leading the effort to create this drone-compatible sensor is Professor Otto Gregory of the University of Rhode Island’s College of Engineering. He’s been working on the smelling sensor—which he calls a digital dog nose—for 15 years, and it can now identify the particles associated with various explosive materials.

Read this week's post to learn more about the digital dog nose drone and all the other ways it could be used to keep people safe.

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