Water is super important! as a raw asset to all of us, our life rotates around it and our accessibility to access it in a clean, safe way is equally as important. That said, clean drinking water is part of this. Here we learn about a project we are building up together with Edeltech and Waterscope, on how we can enable the productization of their water testing solution for the Swiss utility market.
How did we come about this project? As the technology is built on ARM and Cloud. One of our colleagues Darragh, along with Alexander Patto from Waterscope is both part of the ARM Innovation Program. This enables the networking of various people in innovation projects across the ARM ecosystem. One such project is WaterScope!
What is WaterScope?
Founded in 2015 as a startup in the "University of Cambridge" with the founding team set out to build a non-laboratory based, consumer-driven, portable water testing system. Being small and accessible, requiring little or no specialist knowledge and operating from a mobile phone meant it could be used to determine relatively quickly if the water is safe to drink. WaterScope has specialised in the accurate testing and automatic identification of E.coli and coliforms in water, which is a significant problem in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The process from a user perspective is quite simple: take a sample, and filter it through a membrane contained in a special cartridge, that membrane needs to incubate for 8~18hours, afterwards, the sample is analysed by the camera on the Raspberry Pi, multiple scans are completed and the machine learning process starts to identify and count the various colonies. As the process requires some human intervention (loading and unloading cartridges), one objective is to re-engineer this as an automated inline system, with a larger membrane capacity to cycle between samples across regular test intervals. Ultimately enabling the system to be completely autonomous and remotely commanded to execute testing.
Why are we working together?
It was quickly identified after a recent prototype launch that the system needed to be cost-efficient and make the best use of cloud-based machine learning technology that could operate autonomously on the device, as well as operate in harsh remote environments, meaning the IoT aspect is an important enabler here. Having met Alex through the ARM innovator program and learned more about their development, and 56K.Cloud having worked with Edeltech on various machine learning projects, we quickly saw a path to enabling Waterscope to refine their prototype for the Switzerland market, because water is everywhere! Along with their strong business network and research and education ties, we got introduced to a local utility company and water supplier, a local University in the Valais area. This allowed for a deeper understanding of use case, so we are sharing this story here.
Water testing field trip and study
Recently in the past few days (early April) the team has been travelling around the Kanton of Valais, Switzerland testing various water sources as part of the local water system in the area, everything from resources in deep holes to those built high up into the mountainscape! What's exciting here is to enter into a world completely unknown to most of us, this network of water sources was a massively interesting exploration!
So we set out together with Altis (A local water utility company) and gather various water samples across small and larger reservoirs. This enabled the testing to be distributed and both a chance to catch a larger degree of bacteria testing.
Back in the Altis office at Le Châble (below the famous ski resort, Verbier) we began to prepare the tests. You can see here the portable test incubator and sampling device along with the various water samples.
Once the water was prepared in the cartridges and loaded into the incubator, the process begins to test the samples. As a benchmark and reference, the same water was also sent to a laboratory for testing there. (if you want to know more regarding the outcome of the results, please reach out to Alex and Sammy)
Below is the preview of the results that get presented in the web platform where the device uploads the tested samples
How is Edeltech and 56K.Cloud enabling Waterscope?
One of the key drivers here is "fast, accurate, accessible and continuous, water testing". The challenges to solve clean water in developing countries like Africa, are just as important as they are in any country, and Switzerland isn't alone here. The budget and funding are different of course!, but it was quickly identified that everyone shared the same concern regarding water quality and as much as an exciting topic to work on, both the people enjoyed sharing their knowledge and their personal views on the topic itself.
As the visit was also about identifying the right local institutions and people at those establishments we look forward to supporting Waterscope along with our partners. The focus is on the following areas;
- Productising cloud deployment and ensuring flexibility in a cloud-native approach
- Building with Edeltech a modernized cloud platform
- Enabling an effective IoT system with software lifecycle management
- Bringing expertise in the connectivity and device management
Other business development activities we look forward to working together on
- Creating a bridge with the local educational and research & technology institutions (Edeltech is great with attracting students and working closely with research & technology institutions such as the HES-SO in Sion
- Supporting customer relationships and deployments at the customer, Altis
- Dismentation and socialising engagement, showcasing the importance of water testing together with Local water innovation group; BlueArk, we look forward to the collaboration they bring with Altis
What's next for Waterscope in Switzerland?
With the successful testing of various water samples, a visit HES-SO and a workshop with local water utility company Altis, we now know there is a concrete opportunity for a multiple-disciplinary project that can both enable the international community, Waterscope enables and bring in local knowledge to solve a local challenge. As the project has been extremely positively received we now are working with partners to both enable from a technology and funding perspective this initiative to deliver a water testing solution, tailored for the Swiss market in the near future.
For now, Take a look at the impressions of the last few days with the WaterScope, Altis, 56K.Cloud and Edeltech teams!
What to know more about the technology behind Waterscope?
A recent interview with Sammy Mahdi explains the Machine Learning the Computer vision built that enabled the water testing system, feel free to reach out to Alexander Patto and Sammy Mahdi and their founders to know more
Keep in touch with the progress here across the social platforms you'll find Waterscope activate over Twitter:
Learn more about how 56K.Cloud and Edeltech
We enjoy sharing the projects we work on together and how we enable our clients, by applying the technology we know best and the amazing partners and people we work with them to not only address the challenges our clients face but also build on that solutions and enable opportunities that grow our clients business. Having experience across Public-Cloud, IoT, 5G, Machine Learning and application development and business development, our multi-skilled teams bring turnkey solutions from a single contact
How can you support?
Currently, there are multiple funding opportunities they are exploring. If you would like to get involved and enabled this project from a funding perspective please reach out to Alex and Sammy from Waterscope!