Oh, the places sensors will go!
Sensors in the environment
At CSIRO we develop sensors and technology that can be deployed in both made environments and the jungle. Our robotics team has developed various autonomous hexapod robots to follow animals, and investigate dangerous, and inaccessible environments. Regardless of the environment our sensors have long operational life, are trusted, location- and context-aware, adapt to dynamic contexts in distributed computation, and use context and situation to derive higher order information from sensor data streams. Likewise, products such as Zebedee, our handheld indoor and outdoor mapping system creates 3D maps of difficult environments in the time it takes to walk through them and does not rely on GPS.
Our data and robotics team has partnered with several industries to integrate data to help them make informed decisions. As a result of these collaborations we have produced the Ceres Tag, a National Identification compliant ear tag delivers GPS positioning, movement and health monitoring that helps farmers track their inventory and save money on overhead.
Furthermore, we are helping farmers save the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Chemicals lost from farmers’ fields damage the Reef. Our platform, called “1622” provides farmers with real-time information from various sensors so that they can see the quality of water in nearby creeks and rivers, adjust their crop management to improve the quality and see how their crops are performing under the new management. Without this information, farmers don’t know how their farming affects the Reef, and thus have little knowledge about how they can help solve the problem. The key to our systems is connecting farmers to sensor data in real time so they are empowered to take action, and they can see the effects of their actions of water quality and growth of their crops.
Sensors in healthcare
Diagnosing cancers and other diseases at early stages can save lives. Similarly, early detection of an infectious disease outbreak is critical to enable containment and treatment strategies.
In order to get one step closer to early detection, CSIRO created CYBERTONGUE® sensors for real-time measurement of key disease biomarkers in blood samples and tissue explants. This technology focuses on the detection of specific enzymes (proteases) implicated in many pathological processes.
CSIRO’s proprietary CYBERTONGUE® protease sensors have been used to measure levels of thrombin, caspase, plasmin, bacterial proteases and matrix metalloproteinases – which can indicate disease. This technology platform can be leveraged to achieve rapid impact for clinical and biosecurity outcomes using a two-pronged strategy.
Sensors in manufacturing
Through real-time underground 3D scanning, new sensor technology is dramatically increasing the automation capability of underground coal mining by using inertial navigation to measure where machines are and comprehensively map the underground environment using laser-based sensors. These sensing systems will enable new levels of remote operation, on the way to full automation and will also provide personnel located on the surface complete awareness of the state of the environment and equipment underground.
Other benefits include enabling remote operations by providing situational awareness in explosion risk zones, and by providing steering information for longwall systems by measuring face creep, retreat and roadway height in real time. Underground sensor technology also allows for accurate map creations of the entire underground environment incorporating camera, radar and other sensor data. The implications are literally life-saving as sensors improve safety in mines and improve the world around us.