We are pleased to announce the creation of Sniffest, the student competition for machine olfaction. Sniffest seeks to attract new talent to the machine olfaction community and advance the field by promoting practical and original solutions to odor measurement problems.  The edition 2019 of Sniffest will take place during the ISOEN conference, to be held in Fukuoka on May 26-29, 2019. In this edition the challenge is to use Gas sensors in combination with mobile robots!!

To be eligible to participate in the event, students must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited university and must be sponsored by a senior researcher (e.g., faculty mentor, industry collaborator).
Students interested in participating must submit an application by the 31st of March 2019. The application must include the following information:
Download the template here, and send it to the following email: [email protected]

A team of technical experts will review applications and invite a small number of teams to participate. Selections will be based on the team’s qualifications, originality and feasibility of the solution. Invitations will be announced by April 5, 2019

Challenge: Literal Sniffers Race
The robots will be equipped with gas sensors and must follow a circuit as fast as possible.

The circuit will be circular in shape and the same for all teams. Each team will have 3 attempts, and the fastest attempt will win.

  • Robot Dimension limits: 25 cm x 25 cm (max)
  • Robot can implement as many gas sensors as the team defines
  • The team must explain their solution in a poster format (in an special poster session)
  • The circuit (an odor trail) will be prepared by applying an liquid odorant on a 1.8 m x 1.8 m arena.
  • The arena will be made by placing two plywood boards on the floor. Each board is 1820 mm long, 910 mm wide, and 9 mm thick. Note that unevenness of the floor may create a step of a few millimeters between the two boards. The robot must be able to get over the step.
  • The detection target is trans-2-hexenyl acetate (CAS 2497-18-9), which has a green floral smell. A small amount of trans-2-hexenyl acetate in liquid form will be applied to the plywood boards to lay an odor trail that serve as the circuit for this robot competition. Note that the strength of the odor trail will decay over time and also change trial by trial. The robot must be adaptive to the changes in the odor vapor concentration. 
  • The attached figure found below shows an example of the gas sensor response to the odorant. Five commercially available metal-oxide gas sensors (TGS2620, Figaro Engineering) are aligned on a plywood board with an interval of 125 mm. The middle sensor (sensor 3) was placed where a drop of trans-2-hexenyl acetate was applied. The horizontal axis shows the time elapsed since the application of the odorant. The vertical axis shows the sensor response, which was defined as the ratio of the sensor resistance in gas to that in air. When the gas concentration increases, the response value decreases. Since there was weak airflow in the room, the sensors on the downwind side (sensors 4 and 5) showed some response to the odor while no response change was observed for the sensors on the upwind side (sensors 1 and 2).

Entrance fee:
Organizers will provide free registration for one student per team and a 50% discount of the student registration rate for additional team members (up to 3) wishing to attend.


Figure 1