Lab-on-Spoon – a 3-D integrated hand-held multi-sensor system for low-cost food quality, safety, and processing monitoring in assisted-living systems
- Institute of Integrated Sensor Systems, TU Kaiserslautern, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany
Abstract. Distributed integrated sensory systems enjoy increasing impact leveraged by the surging advance of sensor, communication, and integration technology in, e.g., the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems, Industry 4.0, and ambient intelligence/assisted-living applications. Smart kitchens and "white goods" in general have become an active field of R&D. The goal of our research is to provide assistance for unskilled or challenged consumers by efficient sensory feedback or context on ingredient quality and cooking step results, which explicitly includes decay and contamination detection. As one front end of such a culinary-assistance system, an integrated, multi-sensor, low-cost, autonomous, smart spoon device, denoted as Lab-on-Spoon (LoS), has been conceived. The first realized instance presented here features temperature, color, and impedance spectroscopy sensing in a 3-D-printed spoon package. Acquired LoS data are subject to sensor fusion and decision making on the host system. LoS was successfully applied to liquid ingredient recognition and quality assessment, including contamination detection, in several applications, e.g., for glycerol detection in wine. In future work, improvement to sensors, electronics, and algorithms will be pursued to achieve an even more robust, dependable and self-sufficient LoS system.