Washington University Department of Electrical Engineering†††††

Chemical Source Localization Using

Electronic Nose SensorsSensors


The goal of this project is to develop a closed-loop system to estimate the location of an odor source, using a chemical sensor array† mounted on a robotic platform capable of moving in 2D. We model our electronic nose sensorsí responses to different concentrations of ethyl alcohol, and we apply the Nelder-Mead method to iteratively converge on the location of the odor. We tested our chemical source localization approach for different scenarios using simulations in MATLAB. Our end goal is implementing our model on an actual robot, by programming a microcontroller and interfacing it with the robot's sensors. When the sensors are exposed to an odor, the program will estimate the concentration and the Nelder-Mead method will guide the robot towards the source.



Electronic sensing technology is a developing field of study that has greatly advanced over the last decade in technical and consumer applications. Electronic noses are already being introduced in research laboratories, manufacturing processing technology, home and workplace safety monitoring and quality control. Currently, most of the research done has been on classifying odors within a specific category of sample odors.† Eventually electronic nose technology is expected to be able to detect and distinguish specific odors and the particular compounds within the odor.

Potential Applications:

The designed GUI and experimental setup can be used as a starting point for future research exploring chemical array signal processing applications, such as specific compound detection, chemical source localization, and medical diagnosis.