The device, which was first conceived back in 2015, has been perfected over the last five years – and the timing couldn’t be better, as countries are lifting their lockdowns while trying to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Russia’s KMZ plant, working in cooperation with the Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology that developed the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, has presented its latest product – a device capable of detecting a wide array of toxins as well as 86 types of pathogens, including the COVID-19 virus, by analysing the air.
While the device, dubbed “Detector-Bio”, is far from being as compact and versatile as the fictional Smellmaster 9000 from the 1990s film Richie Rich, it is capable of detecting the presence of hazardous substances, bacteria, and viruses within a matter of 10 to 15 seconds. After detecting something, the Detector-Bio proceeds to analyse the sample to determine precisely what type of toxin or pathogen has been found in the air, with this task taking between 60 and 90 minutes.
Detector-Bio is essentially a refrigerator-sized laboratory capable of running tests comparable in terms of accuracy to those conducted in a regular lab. Inside the casing there is a wide array of various devices, each responsible for running analyses for different pathogens and toxins in an automated mode without interacting with a human. Upon detecting something in the air, the device notifies its operator and starts the process of identifying the type of hazard.
KMZ’s newest development successfully completed a series of tests in June, but it is still undergoing the registration process, so it is not clear when the Detector-Bio, which was showcased at the “Army 2020” military-industrial forum, will be available for sale. Should the registration be completed in the near future, it is possible that the device will quickly find use, considering the situation with countries around the world lifting their lockdowns and trying to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic at the same time. Despite being presented at the military forum, Detector-Bio was presented by KMZ as not only being useful for ensuring biological security at military sites, but also in enclosed civilian public spaces such as airports as well as subway and railway stations.