The second meeting at EPFL started with Emilie, Jasmina, Romain, and Nicolas sharing what they have been researching to decide the course of the project. Details of the findings will be entered separately. Here, the conceptual points that came up will be highlighted.

The question that came up over and over again, was “What do we want” in our sensors, whether it was in learning how to sample in situ, i.e. in the field, or in researching vast literature on coliform bacteria or arsenic contaminations and their effects, understanding what we mean by “mobile” in mobile labs, or how best to map the information found.

Nicolas presented his explorations of different interactive and static maps, prefacing his research into this by saying that we may not get to it – this brought up the importance of considering the mapping step – or rather, all the aspects we want in the device and project as part of the research and design process. What if we have a stand-alone-field-sensor unit, how is it different than designing a portable device, or a transportable lab? Sample/analysis time frequency – how REAL-time is realtime?

Another was the importance of having diverse and cite-able sources: journal articles, in-person interviews, the web, scientific search engines.

Next week will focus on defining what we want with directed background research that the group will bring together, so we can proceed with design prototypes. The reading will center on existing coliform bacteria and arsenic detection methods:

  • time taken for analysis
  • reagents necessary
  • equipment required
  • how portable
  • waste produced

We then transitioned then to the wet lab, which is described separately.

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