- 9:22 pm - Sun, Apr 10, 2011
- 4 notes
The RISD Environmental Justice Research Cluster in Providence uses a Roomba as a medium in order to reveal the condition of our surroundings. Roomba—the room cleaning vacuum—is programmed to travel all around a room once it is left to roam. Therefore, it is an ideal tool to assess the quality of air through out a room. We have attached a sensor and light system to these second hand Roombas. When our Roomba senses a change in air quality, currently an increase in the amount of volatile organic chemicals (VOC) in the air (we use alcohol as our test VOC) it emits a different color of light. If you take a long exposure image of our Roomba as it travels through a room, you can see the path its traveled by the light it emits. In areas where there are more VOCs the light on Roomba changes from green to blue. Looking at this image you can easily spot an area of indoor air-pollution. In the future we will be adding a sensor for formaldehyde to this Roomba. Formaldehyde is a very common indoor and harmful indoor air-pollutant.
Currently, we use MQ 135, an air quality sensor to express the condition of air. In the future, we can also use the wireless system or hack a roomba to control its movement as the quality of air.
(via Roomba indoor air quality mapping | publiclaboratory.org)