Archive for the ‘Enviroment’ Category

Increasing citizen’s responses to the haze with Arduino Uno

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015


Once in a while, South East Asia countries such as Singapore and Malaysia suffers from the haze, a fire-related large-scale air pollution problem that occurs regularly. Especially during dry season there are some persisting forest fires in Indonesia that spread to other countries nearby.

In 2015 the haze hit Singapore quite badly, causing schools to close down for one day. That’s why during Hyper Haze Hackathon taking place in Singapore, Tian Lye Teo and Ethan Lee Yong Sheng worked on and presented a low-cost solution based on Arduino Uno to tackle difficulty to communicate haze rising to illiterate elderly in the nation and won second prize ! (more…)

Staying focused with a brain-sensing smart lamp

Friday, October 9th, 2015


Clara is a smart lamp able to respond to your brain waves and subtly adjust your environment. The project, running on Arduino Uno, was created by  Marcelo Mejía Cobo, Belen Tenorio, and Josh Sucher for a class at the School of Visual Arts in NYC (US).


The team worked with the Neurosky MindWave Mobile, a Bluetooth EEG-reading headset in order to wirelessly detect “attention” and map the lamp’s color temperature and speaker volume accordingly: (more…)

Visualizing air quality with interactive origami flowers

Monday, September 28th, 2015


“Under the Dome – PMgami” is an installation created by designer Jiayu  Lui using Arduino Nano. Inspired by paper origami techniques, the digitally fabricated flowers move and change color according to the quality of air measured locally. The main aim of the installation is to obtain a more intuitive way to communicate pollution data and  the relationship between technology and nature.

In the gallery you can explore some other pictures and the schematic. Check the video below to see the installation in action! (more…)

Casa Jasmina: we’re open! Visit us on June 6th

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015


Casa Jasmina, Torino’s Open-Source Connected Apartment, opens its doors on Saturday during Mini Maker Faire in Torino. The unique example of connected apartment with open-source ideals, promoted by Arduino and curated by the futurist and science fiction writer Bruce Sterling, is hosted by Toolbox Coworking in a old industrial building already shared by Officine Arduino (the Italian Arduino headquarter), and Fablab Torino.

During the opening, Casa Jasmina will be available publicly for the first time, hosting some local Maker furnitures, an Italian selection of Valcucine kitchen appliances, household works by International Open Source designers (OpenDesk, Jesse Howard, Aker, Open Structure), and a small display of various connected objects and artifacts from the Energy@Home consortium, Torino Share Festival, and designs and prototypes from the first Casa Jasmina “Call for Projects”. (more…)

Share hyperlocal air pollution data with Sensing Umbrella

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014


The Sensing Umbrella is the second project I’m featuring on this blog (see the first), coming out of the class at  the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design called Connected Objects, with Massimo Banzi and Giorgio Olivero.  (more…)

Internet, Arduino, two men and a company

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013



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.


Via: [Wired][Twitter][Engadget]


Measuring pollution and health: wearable project wins a prize

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Lead Inventor David Kuller wearing the winning Conscious ClothingTM prototype

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…)

Monitoring falcons with intelligent nests

Monday, June 24th, 2013

horus - falcon

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.


Horus project


Two Arduino-based Kickstarter projects worth a look

Monday, May 20th, 2013

SmartCitizen kit
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.


DIY Air Quality Sensing from HabitatMap and Sonoma Tech

Thursday, May 9th, 2013


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 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 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 provides links to all the software and hardware plans.