For the past semester at ASU, our team has been collaborating with a team of students at the Da Nang University of Technology in Vietnam in order to bring Smart Cities technology to their city. We also noticed that pollution in Da Nang had become an increasingly dangerous problem. After polling the student body at the university, we decided to use Smart Cities technology to help Da Nang better understand pollution and how they can effectively reduce it. Da Nang is a great place to start working on this kind of technology because they are very interested in increasing their use of IoT and they are on the brink of being in the 'red zone' for air pollution.
What it does
The Hack Devil CO2 Solution device uses a K-30 CO2 Sensor connected to an Arduino UNO. The sensor measures the CO2 in the air every 1 second, while the Adafruit Fona 808 sends this data to a server along with the exact GPS coordinates corresponding to the CO2 measured. Using Python and R, we wrote code to interpret this data into an easy-to-read heat map.
How we built it
First we created the necessary circuit to get the CO2 sensor to work, which required soldering and writing the Arudino code. After, we spent most of our time trying to the Adafruit Fona to work. With all our hardware assembled, we then wrote the Python code to get the data to put into R to create the heat map.
Challenges we ran into
Our biggest challenge was working with getting the GPS coordinates and transferring them to a server. The Adafruit we ordered unfortunately did not come with an antenna, rendering it useless in our project. Determined to still get the corresponding GPS coordinates, we wanted to use a GPS sensor with the Arduino, but those were unavailable. Next, we tried to use a Bluetooth add on to the Arduino UNO to send GPS coordinates from our phone to the Arduino. However, after much trail and error, we discovered the Bluetooth component was faulty and we were unable to connect to it. Discouraged, we decided it was best to move on with what we have and focus on the coding the rest of the project.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very proud for how quickly we were able to set up the CO2 sensor circuit and program. We are also proud of how we tried everything we could to get GPS in our device. We also were able to create a detailed heat map from data collected around campus. Throughout these processes, we learned a lot and we are excited to implement our knowledge to continue developing this device.
What we learned
First, we learned to pay more attention to the description of the parts we order. We also learned a lot about Arduino and coding Arduino as well as integrating both Arduino and Python. We also attended workshops and were able to learn more about IoT which help us expand our project in the future. We are very grateful to the CCI professionals here that helped us trouble shoot the Bluetooth sensor and gave us advice on our Python code.
What's next for Hack Devils' CO2 Solutions
We are very excited to show our friends in Vietnam all the progress we made at this Hackathon. We hope when we go back to Tempe we can get the necessary parts to get the GPS working and to send the CO2 measurements and GPS coordinates to our server. When we are able to get this device fully wireless, it will be implemented on the buses in Da Nang, and hopefully we can downsize it enough to fit on motorbikes. From there we hope to continue developing very accurate and precise heat maps of CO2 pollution in a specific area. We think having more precise data will help us get a better idea of the specific contributors to CO2 pollution. We then hope to develop an interface that makes this information easily accessible to the Da Nang population. We hope this will raise awareness about the growing problem of pollution there and then we can move forward with our sister team to innovate new solutions to air pollution.