Nano Global (Nano), a US-based company aiming to accelerate cures for global health problems, has announced plans for the limited release of its first generation Nano Bot device which monitors environmental data critical to human health and disease control.

The device features an Arm based microcontroller and a variety of environmental sensors. The Nano Bots collect and process data from an array of on-board sensors, and transmit this data to the Nano Sense platform, where it is analysed and visualised on a surveillance dashboard.

The Nano Bot takes constant readings on humidity, temperature and various particulate matter to identify specific gas concentrations in the build-up to an outbreak so it can develop a database which could provide an early warning.

The device will initially be deployed at healthcare and research facilities operated by some of Nano’s close strategic partners. These partners are predominately based in Texas at present, but the company hopes to expand domestically as well as through partners in Europe and Asia.

Nano claims the Nano Bot represents a milestone for the company due to its ability to monitor sensitive environments for health threats by collecting ambient environmental information to better understand, predict, and rectify threats such as antimicrobial resistance and superbugs.

Data acquired through Nano Bots can provide an important data stream to Nano’s broader data-driven artificial intelligence platform, called Nano Sense.

If abnormal environmental data is detected by the device then the platform supports initial notification and response mechanisms, with further development in process. The company claims that these systems will grow increasingly comprehensive and predictive as its platform AI algorithms and data evolve.

Dr Peter Hotez, director of Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and US Science Envoy and professor of paediatrics and molecular virology & microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, said: “Implementing this technology in healthcare facilities aligns perfectly with our mission to provide the best care for patients while furthering important research to better understand how our environment creates and contributes to health threats.”

Nano will power its Nano Bot and partner devices with the company’s Nano Sense system-on-chip (SoC). It is currently developing this SoC in partnership with semiconductor IP company Arm.

Nano chairman and CEO Steve Papermaster said: “For Nano and its affiliates, the release of our first-generation Nano Bot device signals an important step in our mission to help fight global health threats. We believe our technology platform is a game-changer for detecting and understanding critical elements of health and look forward to building on this exciting momentum.”