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Better than x-ray vision? Senorics’ super scanner put to the test by Galileo

The famous German television show Galileo put the SenoLab to the test. Analyzing food, cannabis, and more: Can the technology deliver on its promises?

Valerie Morris
Valerie Morris

Jan 15, 2023

Last month the famous German television show Galileo visited Senorics in Dresden to learn more about our novel technology and its many use cases. The feature was screened on December 23rd, 2022, on the German television channel ProSieben. For this blog article, we have translated its content into English. The original video can be viewed with auto-generated subtitles here.

Is the avocado ripe? How many calories does the pizza have? Senorics’ small super scanner wants to revolutionize our everyday lives by analyzing the materials around us in a matter of seconds. But how is this possible? Galileo put the technology to the test.

Analyzing milk in the blink of an eye

The inventors of the novel sensor don't like any nasty surprises in their office refrigerator - so they invented x-ray vision to go.

Source: © ProSieben, Screenshot from [GalileoOffiziell YouTube channel:], [2023/01/09]

“This is more than a new kind of x-ray vision, it’s a seventh sense - the material recognition sense. As scientists we got fed up with bad milk in our coffee and spoiled fruit. With our scanner, we can look inside all the materials that surround us.” Dr. Robert Brückner, co-founder and CTO of Senorics, explains.

What exactly this means, we will first demonstrate on milk. Is it fresh or not? The new scanner should spare us from this everyday office question. Simply hold the device onto your glass of milk. But does the glass negatively affect the analysis?

“So, everything we can see through, like glass or cling wrap in which fruit is packed up, the scanner can also see through. You simply have to hold the device onto the object you would like to measure. You get the measurement result in a fraction of a second.

This milk for example is sour, so I don't want to drink it anymore. The analysis could not be faster or easier.” Dr. Robert Brückner explains further.

Source: © ProSieben, Screenshot from [GalileoOffiziell YouTube channel:], [2023/01/09]

Determining alcohol levels

And the device can do even more. For example, it can measure alcohol content.

“Many people are unsure when they order a non-alcoholic beer, is there really no alcohol in it? Sometimes you might get served the wrong beer and there is alcohol in it after all. We can simply measure that.” Dr. Robert Brückner explains. Just a short scan and we know it’s guaranteed alcohol-free. The device also reveals how much alcohol is contained in alcoholic beverages. The result for our sample shows 4.9%.

Source: © ProSieben, Screenshot from [GalileoOffiziell YouTube channel:], [2023/01/09]

The next generation of robotic vacuum cleaners

Let’s talk about another little helper – a robotic vacuum cleaner.

“We integrated our sensor into the robot. It not only detects different floor materials like carpet or tiles, but also stains. If I vacuum over a tomato sauce stain with a normal vacuum cleaner, I get a big mess. The robot recognizes exactly what the stain is – for example tomato sauce, wine, or gravy. When it detects a stain, it doesn't drive over it and smear it all over the floor, but instead goes around it or cleans it properly.” Dr. Robert Brückner demonstrates.

Source: © ProSieben, Screenshot from [GalileoOffiziell YouTube channel:], [09/01/2023]

But how exactly does the sensor recognize what it is analyzing?

How the technology works

“Just as every person has a unique fingerprint, every material has an optical fingerprint. And it is precisely these fingerprints that we can measure and that help us to identify materials with high accuracy.” Dr. Robert Brückner explains.

For this purpose, there is a light bulb implemented into the scanner. It shines light on the object, in this case milk. The milk reflects the light back into the scanner and onto the novel sensor. It measures the wavelengths of the reflected light in the invisible infrared range. The result is this curve, the so-called optical fingerprint of milk.

Source: © ProSieben, Screenshot from [GalileoOffiziell YouTube channel:], [09/01/2023]

Each organic material reflects unique infrared components and thus characteristic structures. Based on this data, the sensor can identify the material.

“We used the hand scanner to measure a broad range of milk types and samples, such as 1.5% fat, 3.5% fat, and lactose-free milk. Based on that data we built a model and trained our device so that it could successfully analyze any milk.” Dr. Robert Brückner explains.

The device recognizes spoiled milk because it contains lactic acid, which reflects different light. But is this just a gimmick or is the device already in use?

Fast and easy cannabis analysis

According to pharmacist Sven Lobeda, the scanner can improve the control of medical cannabis.

“So, with any starting material and any medical formula, no matter whether it's a cough syrup or a cannabis flower, I have to prove that it contains what it says on the label. This takes a considerable amount of time.” Sven Lobeda explains.

So far, he has been conducting the analysis with rapid cannabis tests, but they are fiddly and easily take 15 minutes. A color reaction tells him the result.

Source: © ProSieben, Screenshot from [GalileoOffiziell YouTube channel:], [09/01/2023]

“A beautiful purple color tells me that the flower contains THC. What I don't know is the actual THC content of the flower when I give it to the patient.” Sven Lobeda explains further.

This is something he would like to know, because many patients get medical cannabis prescribed by their doctor as a painkiller. Due to long supply chains, however, it is possible that the flowers lose THC and thus their effectiveness. Thomas Schlicher from the Senorics’ inventor team will show him how pharmacies can determine the THC content themselves for the first time. Without much preparation, a whole cannabis flower is placed directly on the scanner. The scanner app shows: 18% THC in the sample.

Source: © ProSieben, Screenshot from [GalileoOffiziell YouTube channel:], [09/01/2023]

“This means that I know the exact content and can pass this information on to my patients. This sample should contain 20% THC but it’s only 18%. Based on that information my patients can adjust their dosage accordingly.” Sven Lobeda explains.

The new mobile analysis technology can also help police to fight the rise of black-market cannabis.

“There are currently no medically prescribed cannabis flowers above 26-27%. If I suddenly had a THC level of nearly 50%, which happens on the black market, I would know immediately that this is not a medical flower.” Sven Lobeda explains further.

Further use cases for pharmaceutical industry

The super scanner also quickly identifies pills by recognizing their active ingredients.

“This is very useful for us as pharmacists when someone comes into the pharmacy wanting to know what pills they have found in their pocket. Or maybe they have dropped their pill tray and now all their white pills are mixed, and they don’t know what’s what anymore. What we also experience regularly is concerned mothers coming into the pharmacy with a pill that they found in their child’s room. Is it just a headache pill or is it something else? Until now it wasn’t possible to simply analyze the pills and give a reliable answer.” Sven Lobeda explains.

Source: © ProSieben, Screenshot from [GalileoOffiziell YouTube channel:], [09/01/2023]

The super scanner made available to everyone

At 2500€ the scanner is currently only suitable for professionals. However, in the next few years the inventors want to reduce the size of the sensor so much that it will fit in every smartphone, and then everyone will be able to use it.

“We can imagine walking through the supermarket and measuring the apples and tomatoes. How ripe are they? Will they taste good, or do they just look red? We can also detect date rape drugs for example. They are completely invisible to us, and you can't taste them either. Or maybe you get a pizza delivered and want to know, is this real cheese? And how many calories are on this pizza in total?” Dr. Robert Brückner explains.

One thing is for sure, the office refrigerator at Senorics no longer contains any unpleasant surprises.

Source: © ProSieben, Screenshot from [GalileoOffiziell YouTube channel:], [09/01/2023]

You can watch the original video with German audio and auto-generated subtitles on the Galileo YouTube channel. If you have questions or would like to inquiry about our product you can contact us at

Valerie Morris

I’m Senorics’ Content Creator. Most of the things you read on our website or on our social media accounts were written by me. I started working here in March 2020 when I was still living in Dresden. Now I have moved to New Zealand and work remotely from the opposite time zone.


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