New device to detect LPG gas leaks

`Suraksha` can detect gas leakage and set off a warning alarm by sending text messages to cell phone.

Kolkata: With incidents of LPG cylinder leak on the rise, a resident of Bhubaneswar has come up with a device that can detect gas leakage and set off a warning alarm by sending text messages to a cell phone.
Developed by Gautam Kumar, the device, named `Suraksha`, has sensors which detects the typical smell of LPG and can be configured to enable a maximum of five people to receive the alert. The message is accompanied with the alarm.

Honours and accolades have started coming in for Gautam following the innovation. Only yesterday, he was given an award at the EMTech India awards function in Bangalore.

He was also named the Social Innovator of the year by the 112-year old technology publication `Technology Review` from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, in its India edition.

Technology Review India in its forthcoming issue said, "The team at (Gautam`s) Roboticwares had initially developed a leakage sensor with a buzzer alarm. Then they realised that a buzzer alarm is of no use in an empty house."

The alarm was then improvised into an SMS-based feedback system which was connected to the sensor to detect gas leakage and immediately send SMS alerts to the phone numbers registered in the system, the journal added.

Costing between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000, the device comes in two varities - one for industrial use and the other for domestic. The industry-optimised Suraksha is said to be capable of sustaining extreme temperature conditions ? from a range of minus 70 degrees centigrade to plus 70 degrees centigrade as well as large voltage fluctuations.

Roboticwares is now looking for a government subsidy to reduce the price for the common man.

Gautam said he and his co-innovator Kushal Nahata were inspired to do something to prevent gas leak accidents ever since he read about one such in Bhubaneswar in which a few people lost their lives.

"The incident reminded us of a similar but bigger accident that occurred near Kushal`s parents` house in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, a few years back," he said.