It’s a natural air purifier which uses plant and human interaction to decrease the CO rate of the ambient air. It’s main objective is to raise awareness about air pollution and make people engage themselves in the process of decontamination. It consists of an interactive carpet : when people walk on it, the system flows external air through a plant leaves inside a container where sensors measures the CO absorption. The result is displayed simultaneously in a screen.
Technologies used3D printing Plasma cutting Laser cutting Computing & softwares Electronics
What’s the project story?
One year ago, Enrique Jimenez came to see me in the EXPIN (EXPeriencias INteractivas) Medialab of the University UAO. I am the operational manager of this place, dedicated to the exploration of new soft technologies (VR, IHM, smart cities, …) and he is a doctor in industrial design. What he offered me instantly intrigued me : he was looking for a way of bringing his thesis, about air decontamination, to life. Together, with the help of a biologist, an electronic engineer and a graphical designer, we designed and built this project. We decided to quickly build a first but simple version to test our idea : first to check if it’s feasible and then if users like it.
How the workshop was useful ?
To achieve it, we applied a methodology developed with our experience and inspired by the maker spirit : 1. Discuss & think : What do you want ? What do you know ? 2. Planning & design : What will you do and how (steps, ressources, …) ? 3. Development : Do you succeed making it ? 4. Exposure : What are the end-users feedbacks ?
The phases 2 and 4 were achieved in the EXPIN Medialab with our softawares and test users space. For the phase 3 we used the machines of the fablab and of the electronic lab.
What’s the project’s greatest success so far?
During the process of development, we received lot of persons interested either by the project, by the methodology or by the mix of biology and human interactive system.
What’s your greatest failure(s)& lesson(s) so far?
The hardest part was to design an electronic system able to synchronise with a plant. The challenge was even bigger as we didn’t have biologist in our team and only a small budget. We had to learn lot of new concepts while being creative. It was a intense but rewarding experience. Now we are ready to improve our first version : a better designed container, a mobile interface, less cables with an Arduino, … The ideas are not missing, we just need a real case application and money :-)
What’s your vision for the project & next steps?
We will present the project to the University board and students with a poster and a real time demonstration and I will start to communicate on it to bring the idea to investors’ attention. It will be great to have the opportunity for adapting this project for real use (shopping mall, city center, museum, …) and for other type of pollution such as water.
How can anyone interested can contribute to the project?
We have a great skilled team, mature to make something great with this project. Now, we are looking for investors, real cases application and makers interested to make a real impact with our idea!