Whiskers are already being used by various institutions across the country. MIT has been developing a small Robotics platform called Firefly, as well as Ampli: A construction set for paper fluidics and diagnostics.
MIT Little Devices Lab in collaboration with Gehrke Lab at MIT IMES and the Hammad-Schifferly group at UMass Boston are developing a series of multiplexed diagnostics called Ampli for fever viruses such as dengue, ebola, zika, and chikungunya. Rapid diagnostic fabrication can be obscure in lab practice and may involve expensive biological assays and methods. MIT is creating an open-access distribution of their diagnostic devices so that anyone, anywhere in the world with the need for patient care can develop their own paper devices.
With Ampli, no machining, special instruments or even hand dexterity is required to create a paper fluidic circuit. Biochemistry doesn’t have a breadboard, so they have created one. The goal - to create a plug and play set of blocks that could form, stop and modify reactions in real-time, and that's where Whiskers and TinyCircuits came in. In the near future, Color Sensor Whiskers will be blasted up to the International Space Station for further diagnostic testing in outer space!
Firefly bots are investigating the role of small deployable robots that can assist in detecting biochemical substances in remote areas and responding to them. The platform uses Whisker sensors to find color cues in the matter and respond with onboard activators that can neutralize a pathogen. They are in the process of being deployed around the world in the Canary Islands, Chile, and Costa Rica.