Jacobsons’s Fabulous Olfactometer – Sensorial prosthesis for air pollution

Created by Susanna Hertrich, Jacobson’s Fabulous Olfactometer (JFO) is a sensorial prosthesis that mimics mammalian ‘flehmen’ when air pollution levels are high. The prosthetic is designed around a new human sense modeled after a mammalian sense organ called the vomeronasal or “Jacobson’s” organ. This olfactory sense organ enables certain animals to sense odourless chemicals. When a mammal senses chemicals, it lifts its upper lip to expose this organ. This behaviour is called ‘flehmen’ (wikipedia).

Two air chemical sensors located at the top part of the prosthetic register small particles (smoke) and CO2 levels. This data is fed into an Arduino board. When air pollution levels are registered as ‘high’, two stepper motors on either side of the head set exaggerated bone gears in motion and the wearer’s lip is slowly pulled upwards. Thus, JFO enables its wearer to ‘sense’ airborne chemicals and modifies his/her face similar to mammalian flehmen.

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