Novel device to rescue humans trapped in rubble

  • Scientists have developed a light and portable sensor that can detect even the faintest signs of life.
  • It could be used to rescue people trapped in rubble after an earthquake or bombing.
  • The device is light and portable enough for first responders to hold in their hands or for drones to carry on a search for survivors.
  • Current approaches include the use of human-sniffing dogs and acoustic probes that can detect cries for help.
  • Drawbacks in these methods such as the limited availability of canines and the silence of unconscious victims.
  • The researchers built the palm-sized sensor array from three existing gas sensors, each tailored to detect a specific chemical emitted by breath or skin: acetone, ammonia or isoprene.


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