You're in luck. For their senior project, two Cornell University computer-engineering whizzes recently built a machine that does just that. After learning in class how breathalyzers work, Robert Clain and Miguel Salas assembled a fart detector from a sensitive hydrogen sulfide monitor, a thermometer and a microphone and wrote the software that would rate the emission. A "slight perturbance in the air" near the detector sets it to work measuring the three pillars of fart quality: stench, temperature and sound. Temperature, Clain explains, is critical. The hotter a fart, the faster it spreads. "It beeps faster if it's a high ranker, and a voice rates it on a scale of zero to nine," he says. "If it ranks a nine, a fan comes on to blow it away. It even records the noise so you can play it back later." After a few months of construction, they began field tests. "Well, the sample data wasn't the entire school, but we definitely tested it," Salas says.
The contraption could even have use outside of fraternity houses, Clain says, as a biosensor for harmful hydrogen-sulfide-producing bacteria in hospitals. Or dentists could use it to measure oral malodor. They've also received some interest from doctors with four-legged patients. "You can test the health of livestock through the quality of their farts," Salas says. "Smell and sound can tell you a lot about their bowel movements."
When it came time to present the invention in class, though, Clain and Salas had to test their detector by making raspberry sounds and breathing on it—human exhalations contain enough hydrogen sulfide to trigger the sensor. "It's hard to fart something really smelly on command," Clain laments. "Besides, it provided a nicer atmosphere for those around us." Still, their professor saw fit to award the project a well-deserved A.
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With this thing around my leather couch can no longer be considered a good cover story.
If this technology can miniaturized, I can already see this as an upscale option in your automobile interior of the future. Scenario: An occupant "lets a really stinky one" (lets say the technology allows you to set the odoriferous threshold) and suddenly the windows automatically open & the forced air increases for several seconds to "Absolute Max" to remove the pollution. Of course the flip side of this, for the bathroom-comedian-ilk, will be to make the settings temporarily lock the windows & doors as (A) emits insane laughter while (B)looses their religion while fumbling for the disabled window switches.
I see an immediate application for this tech. The state of MA has been trying to adopt a law restricting stinky passengers from using the public transit system. This tech could be positioned at the gate or door of every bus and subway terminal within the system and deny access based on a preset threshold, taking the human element and possible prejudicial accusations out of the equation. The inventors should contact the state of MA with this great invention…
We're half way there. For years now I've been saying someone needs to develope a small traffic light that will be outside every public restroom door. If it's green, it is safe to go in. If it's yellow, enter at your own risk, mainly if you have to go real bad and can't wait for green. If it's red...run...don't go in under any circumstance. Stay the heck away. I have walked into them many times and immediately felt like throwing up the stench is so bad, like somebody rotten inside just took a crap.
what the hell are cornell students doing building a fart reader
A fart is nothing more than the cry of an imprisoned turd.
This is an important invention for sewer (gas) leakage detection. In a bathroom it is usually very hard to find "where that nasty smell is coming from" (for example: siphon? shower drain? toilet-floor junction?). I hope they sell this in a portable form.
really when a quarter of the earths population is starving?!! your researching farts...this sounds like something that russian communistic newspaper would put on the front cover:
"Obese capitalists upper class university researches farts"
with a picture of an Obama caricature holding a wad of dollar bills and a fart collector tube up his a**....with a big smile
this will only be of use to someone who has plenty of money to waste on pointless things such as these
that and a lost burp
Yes, forgot about the burp. Thanks for the reminder :)
So now that Obama has us moving down a socialist path do you think we will have a re-distribution of farts so people with too many farts will have to give some up so they can be given to the people with less farts?
I remembered a russian "poem"...ill try to translate it but it wont sound right and won't ryhme
When the public starts straining, we'll see would get the upper hand
i typed to fast and forgo a word:
When the public starts straining, we'll see you will get the upper hand
I'd put what people post on Dealt-It.com up against that sensor any day!