Low-cost sensor technology for gases and odors

When gas sensors meet AI: A great combination for many applications

© Fraunhofer IIS / Bianca Möller
Die Sensor Clickboards dienen der kombinierten Evaluierung von ausgewählten Gassensoren.

Fire detector in the kitchen? Until now – despite the general utility – this has not been a good idea, as the number of false alarms is too high. With our intelligent low-cost sensor technology for gases and odors, however, this shortcoming could be remedied in the future: the fire alarm could not only distinguish whether a steak is frying or burning, but could also monitor the air quality in the room. First, we investigated various commercially available gas sensors for different target gases in the Campus of the Senses, a joint project with Fraunhofer IVV. How reliably do they work? For what conditions are they suitable?

In the next step, these sensors can then be combined and, using specific AI methods, optimized for the selective detection of target gases in a specific application. “In this way, we can both increase the performance of the individual sensors – by making the best possible selection and also by means of artificial intelligence – and improve the interplay of various sensors, for example by having the AI take into account typical cross-sensitivities,” says group manager Sebastian Hettenkofer, listing the benefits. Building on this work, other topics can be investigated in addition to fire detection, such as air quality in homes or in food production, sensitive traffic control in inner cities and the detection of food that has gone bad in refrigerators.