Improving the efficiency of detecting the spatial distribution of gas information with a mobile robot is a great challenge that requires rapid sample collection, which is basically determined by the speed of operation of gas sensors. The present work developed a robot equipped with a high-speed gas sensor module based on localized surface plasmon resonance. The sensor module is designed to sample gases from an on-ground odor source, such as a footprint material or artificial odor marker, via a fine sampling tubing. The tip of the sampling tubing was placed close to the ground to reduce the sampling time and the effect of natural gas diffusion. On-ground ethanol odor sources were detected by the robot at high resolution (i.e., 2.5 cm when the robot moved at 10 cm/s), and the reading of gas information was demonstrated experimentally. This work may help in the development of environmental sensing robots, such as the development of odor source mapping and multi-robot systems with pheromone tracing.
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