Archive for the ‘Enviroment’ Category
What defines a maker? A wish to make things , a quest for tools and ample creativity. They say that creativity has no bounds so what inspired this Ex-restaurateur to create a company Haxagonal Research with their much featured product Observos? In people’s words words:
Observos, a box that can monitor the temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure of a space and shuttle this information across the net.
The company’s two founders Ronald Boynoe and Loren Lang both were pretty tech savvy, but it was the Arduino movement, which kickstarted their dream together.
“Arduino provided us an extraordinary platform for testing against, an invaluable repository of preexisting libraries and other code that would have taken an incredible amount of time to write, and a lot of community support,” he says. “It has decreased our time to market, and significantly reduced our startup costs, allowing us to more rapidly develop new prototypes.”
From having a restaurant as their first customer to diversifying into agriculture sector, they define their biggest challenge as tuning the humidity sensor to a required precision. Hexagonal at the moment has a presence here and here.
My Air, My Health was the title of a Challenge calling innovators to work on a wearable project integrating air-quality measurement with heart rate and breathing.
The promoters of the challenge, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Services (NIH), launched it because they think that the possibility of understanding the relations between air pollution and people’s health in real-time could have an important impact in preventing disease and illness in the population. In the description you can read:
The required system design must be capable of linking air pollutant concentrations with physiological data, providing geocoded and time-stamped files in an easy to use format, and transmitting this data via existing networks to a central data repository. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this challenge, solvers are highly encouraged to form teams drawing on multiple relevant expertise… (more…)
The Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) is a small falcon at the center of HORUS, a project aiming to develop a system for automatic real-time monitoring of colonial falcons at Doñana Biological Station, a public Research Institute in Spain.
The falcons breed in nest-boxes on the window sills which the research team converted into “smart nest-boxes”: they have sensors to identify the falcons entering the box using RFID tags, but also cameras and other equipment controlled by and Arduino Mega.
Some weeks ago I read an article on the New York Times talking about Kickstarter. The author was exploring the logic of the platform and especially in which way backers shouldn’t really be considered like investors. They aren’t because their main aim is not looking for the project that will give them the greatest return on their money.
Kickstarter as a phenomenon is made much more comprehensible once you realize that it’s not following the logic of the free market; it’s following the logic of the gift […] People contribute to them because they’re friends who know the artist personally; they’re fans engaged in a highly personal if unidirectional relationship with the artist [creator]; or simply because they’re intrigued by the project and want some sense of participation in it.
Here we are then, highlighting two Arduino-based projects because we are intrigued by them and hope you like them too.
High-precision air quality monitors are normally very expensive, but Tim Dye of Sonoma Technology is on a mission to change that. He’s been working with Michael Heimbinder and habitatmap.org to create a low-cost sensor system that when designed properly and integrated into a software platforms can provide valid data.
AirCasting is a platform for recording, mapping, and sharing health and environmental data using Arduino and Android. It combines an Arduino with a set of sensors for air quality measurement; temperature, humidity, and carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter. The system combines the sensors using an Arduino Uno and then sends the data to an Android app using Bluetooth. The plans are all open for modification, so you can add your own sensors as needed. A heart rate monitor and an LED vest can also be linked to the AirCasting app, providing a complete the system for realtime, wearable feedback of your body’s reaction to the environmental air quality.
There are many DIY air quality measurement projects online, but most of them are not calibrated against known standards or professional equipment. But Dye and his colleagues have tested the AirCasting particulate matter sensors against the same equipment Sonoma Technology uses for precise measurement, and they’ve gotten surprisingly good results. Correctly constructed and deployed, the AirCasting shows promise as a low-cost alternative to complement the expensive high-end air monitors.
AirCasting is a collaboration between many groups: Michael Heimbinder of habitatmap.org manages the project, and Tim Dye of Sonoma Technology consults on design, data evaluation, and field deployment; Dr. Iem Heng and Raymond Yap of the City Tech Mechatronics Technology Center designed and built the hardware; Dr. Andy Zhang designed and built the monitor casings; Valentine Leung designed and built the LED garments, and Brooke Singer has helped guided the project with a mind towards interactivity and public engagement.
The data from your AirCasting air monitor can be uploaded to the AirCasting database, which aggregates data from all AirCasting contributors, or can be sent to your own database and all the code for the project is open source and available through GitHub
The website AirCasting.org provides links to all the software and hardware plans.
This project by Greg is about building a smart litter box for his cats:
We have three cats and the litter is difficult to control. So I had been thinking through a project to build an enclosure. Once I stumbled on Arduino the doors of opportunity were opened. I ordered the electronics and got started on my project right away. So far the Arduino is activating exhaust fans, lightng, and a Lysol spray dispenser. It tracks the number of times the fans are activated and uses a piezo buzzer to alert a filter cleaning. I plan to use it to trigger cleaning based on usage and track each cats potties so we can control their stink before its too late.
A nice video about this project can be found on YouTube.
On his blog, Miguel presents one of his latest projects:
This project shows the operation of an RGB lamp using a digital LED strip. After activating the bluetooth connection, the user can open the GUI on the PC to control the lamp. The program shows a hue palette divided into 30 rods, one for each LED of the strip.
By clicking & dragging the mouse cursor it is possible to make your own patterns,. To remove a color, the user can simply click on a rod while pressing the spacebar, which switches off the selected LED.
Part list: wooden support, RGB digitally-addressable LED strip, microcontroller (Arduino Pro Mini, for example), Bluetooth or USB wire.
More information on this project can be found on Miguel’s blog, while a brief video about its operation can be found here; the code of the project can be found on Github. The project’s page on Thingiverse can be found here.
[Via: Miguel's blog]
Have you ever wanted a smart home that can automatically adjusts the blinds for you? If so, this project is for you.
In this instructable, the author describes his approach to “smart blinds”, by using an Arduino board, an ethernet shield, a motor shield and a couple of sensors.
By means of a simple web-based GUI, the user can manually open and close the blinds, or he/she can setup both temperature and brightness thresholds in order to automate the whole process. Finally, opening and closing events can also be scheduled at pre-defined times of the day, if necessary.
The complete tutorial, together with the source code of the project, can be found here.