ScanSpectrum is a line of low-cost and portable spectrometers. We aim for both affordability and high build quality by combining careful design with the use of cheap yet powerful commercial-off-the-shelf components.
Our inspiration for building ScanSpectrum stems from the scarcity of publicly available agricultural and medical data, particularly in the developing world. While there are many reasons for this, two pain points we wish to address are (1) the high prices of desktop lab instruments for health assessment, and (2) the logistical cost of ferrying samples between the field and the lab. ScanSpectrum aims to alleviate both problems by making sensing less expensive and eliminating most of the logistics involved in agricultural health assessments.
We believe that collecting larger and more spatially distributed datasets with inexpensive sensors is more effective than only using a few expensive sensors in very limited locations. Once sample datasets become large enough through inexpensive sensing, machine learning can be employed to calibrate ScanSpectrum spectrometers to approximate the performance of “gold standard” equipment.
Here we showcase some pictures of our devices to date. We are currently piloting our devices with our partners in several countries, and have been able to successfully demonstrate detection of particular kinds of plant stresses and illnesses. Our gun-shaped device ships in a compact, fitted carrying case complete with documentation, accessories, and spare parts. ScanSpectrum interfaces with your Android phone via Bluetooth, and reports both the spectrum and computed NDVI in real-time, while also streaming this georeferenced data to the cloud.