- The low-cost dirt detector can alert the authorities by sending reports
- It can be placed in public areas where cleanliness needs to be monitored
- The device is equipped with light indicators & embedded sensors
New Delhi: A smart device to monitor levels of dirt and send out alerts to stakeholders when things need attention for cleaning up, that is what a group of researchers of IIT Kharagpur have developed. The low-cost Smart Hygiene Monitor may soon be used to keep the public facilities clean and maintain hygiene standards at all times. This low-cost dirt detector can be placed in public/community toilets, clinics, hospitals, operation theatres, kitchens and so on and is capable of recording the levels of ammonia, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter with the help of sensors. In simple terms, the device can sense how dirty an area is and send online alerts to the authorities to clean it up.
The research team behind the development of this smart device was headed by Aurobinda Routray, a professor in the Electrical Engineering department of the institute. Dr. Routray has been teaching in the college since 1991 and has been doing this research for the last one and half years. The prototype of the device was launched recently and it is yet to undergo field trials that will help evaluate its practical application and efficiency.
The Path To Innovation
Talking about the idea behind this smart device, Dr Routray said,
Finding public toilets in India is a challenge in itself, and finding clean ones is a near impossibility. When one analyses the reasons, very often it may be seen that the real cause behind unsanitary conditions in these places is a systematic cleaning schedule and proper supervision and monitoring of the quality and regularity of cleaning. That’s when it triggered me to make a technological innovation that will fight this loophole.
All About The Device
Equipped with light indicators, embedded sensors to sense the dirt, the device has been programmed to detect gases as per the deemed air quality index levels set by SAFAR-India (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) in an area.
Like a traffic signal, the green light would indicate ‘clean space’ while red would imply that the space requires cleaning. Once these threshold levels are exceeded, an email alert will be sent via cloud to the administrative office indicating the room condition as well as the need to clean it. Simultaneously, an alert will be sent to the concerned cleaning person stating the location of the room that needs to be cleaned. The real time levels of each of these pollutants for each room ID will also be available online, thus helping generation of a data analytics report for concerned officials. explains Dr Routray.
Highlighting another important feature of the device, Dr Routray said, “Often in the metro airports or malls, you will find that cleaners mechanically go on cleaning toilets and other areas at stipulated intervals, even on low footfall days. This not only results in wastage of water and other cleaning resources, but also leads to overuse of cleaning chemicals, which have environmental ramifications. This device will save wastage of resources and money.”
The installation cost for a 20 square feet area would amount up to Rs. 5,000, making it a cost effective solution for a Swachh India.
What’s The Future
The plan is to modify the device as per the area and its usability, it’s a game of software, and we have created a prototype, now all we need is to experiment with it. Later we plan to include a technology in the same device that will help track water leakages in the public areas so as the world can save its precious resource – water, signs off Dr Routray.
At a time when Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is in full swing, this device will be a boon for not just maintaining cleanliness but also keeping a track of swachh levels to identify when, action needs to be taken.