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Indian Institute Develops IoT Device For Cold Chain Management

Image credit: iitrpr; Twitter

Indian Institute of Technology in Ropar (IIT-Ropar) has developed a first-of-its-kind Internet of Things (IoT) device called AmbiTag. The institute stated that the device records real-time ambient temperature during the transportation of perishable products, body organs, blood, and vaccines, etc. AmbiTag is a USB-shaped device that continuously records the temperature of its immediate surroundings from -40℃ to 80℃ in any time zone for a full 90 days on a single charge, according to reports.

Most of the similar devices available in the international market record data only for 30 – 60 days. AmbiTag has a range of inbuilt features to customise logging intervals, time zone, and alarms, said Dr Suman Kumar, the coordinator of the IoT Systems Domain at the Agriculture and Water Technology Development Hub (AWaDH).

He said AmbiTag is a certified device priced below IN₹1,000 (US$14) to ensure the broader use of the device in different applications. It generates an alert when the temperature goes beyond a pre-set limit. The recorded data can be retrieved in user-defined format by connecting the USB with any computer, he said. The AmbiTag temperature data log advises the user whether the transported item is usable or the cold chain has been compromised during the transportation. This information is particularly critical for vaccines, organs, and blood transportation in the Indian scenario.

AmbiTag in India is developed by the researchers at the IIT-Ropar Technology Innovation Hub – AWaDH and its startup ScratchNest. The ScratchNest is an IoT technology start-up founded by four IIT-Ropar students. AmbiTag is waterproof and monitors ambient temperature during the transportation of vaccines, including COVID-19, medicines, blood samples, food and dairy products, and meat products. So far, such devices are being imported by India in a massive quantity from other countries, such as; Singapore, Hong Kong, Ireland, and China, according to information from Amit Bhatti, one of the founders and directors of ScratchNest.

Project Director of AWaDH, Dr Pushpendra P. Singh, said the institute is gearing for the mass production of AmbiTag. The device will be made available to all companies involved in COVID-19 vaccine transportation from production facilities to the last mile vaccination centres in the country at the production cost of IN₹400 (US$5.8), Dr Singh noted.

Last month, IIT-Ropar developed ‘FakeBuster’, a deepfake detector to identify and prevent imposters from attending video conferencing and manipulating faces on social media. Deepfake is a form of artificial intelligence (using deep learning) to manipulate images, audio, and videos on the Internet.

As OpenGov Asia had reported earlier, FakeBuster is a deep learning-based solution that helps detect if a video is manipulated during a video-conference meeting. Amid the pandemic, where the majority of work or meetings are online, this standalone solution enables a user to detect if another person’s video is manipulated or spoofed during video conferencing. The software is independent of video conferencing solutions and has been tested for its effectiveness on Skype and Zoom. It also detects deepfakes where faces have been manipulated on social media. Sophisticated artificial intelligence techniques have spurred a dramatic increase in the manipulation of media content. Such techniques keep evolving and become more realistic, which makes detection difficult. The researchers claimed that the technology has over 90% accuracy.

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