Roomba Indoor Air Quality Monitoring
indoor-air-quality-mapping

The current work on indoor air sensing through the Where We Breathe project is located at Indoor Air Quality Monitoring ___________________________________________________________________________________________ **2011-2012 Indoor Air Quality Mapping information** **Purpose** This tool is being developed to experiment with mapping indoor air quality. A 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 we take a long exposure image of our Roomba as it travels through a room, we 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 where there could be higher concentrations of VOCs. Currently, we use the [MQ 135 air quality sensor](http://www.futurlec.com/Gas_Sensors.shtml), to detect NH3, NOx, alcohol, benzene, smoke and CO2. In the future we will try adding a sensor for formaldehyde, which is a common and potentially harmful indoor air pollutant. The U.S. EPA provides a good introduction to indoor air quality: There are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home. These include combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution. Poor indoor air quality can take many forms, including high concentrations of chemicals (like formaldehyde, radon, or carbon monoxide). Sometimes these chemicals come from the products we use (like sprays) or the materials that surround us (like carpets and vinyl flooring). Excess humidity, or inadequate ventilation or filtration, can also lead to buildups of mold, pollen, or other biological contaminants. A simple and common form of poor indoor air quality is the buildup of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in poorly ventilated rooms. This can make you feel tired and less alert but is not usually otherwise harmful. Immediate symptoms of exposure to toxic air contaminants include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; headaches; dizziness; and fatigue. Longer-term exposures (to lower concentrations) have been linked to chronic disorders, such as asthma. **Applications and example uses** Currently, there are very few tools for citizens to use in assessing indoor air-quality. The Toxic Mapper is our first attempt to generate DIY tools for investigating one's home environment and producing data rich images that are easy to interpret. The Toxic Mapper is still in development. We aim for it to be useful in indoor spaces such as those found in homes and schools. This annotated image shows the basic parts for our Toxic Mapper v.1: ##How to make your own## We are working on a step by step guide to Hacking your Roomba. We have produced a short video about the project: We Also documented the Toxin-mapping Roomba Project in Montreal. This image shows the basic parts of the Toxic Mapper V.1: Wiring for the Toxic Mapper V.1 to connect VOC sensor to LED so the light color changes based on the sensor readings: Close up image of wiring: Arduino Code for VOC sensor in the Toxic Mapper V.1: **How to use it** * Byeongwon used the Volatile Organic Chemical Sensor to detect a gas leak in his home: [using VOC sensor to locate an apartment gas leak](http://publiclaboratory.org/notes/bha/9-11-2011/gas-leak-old-apartment) **Get involved!** * Research is actively being done on this project by Jae Ok Lee and Byeongwon Ha in The RISD Environmental Justice Research Cluster in [Providence](/place/providence). * and places to start contributing- * Hack your roomba! * Help us develop documentation. * advise us on indoor air-pollution issues? * List next steps: * Our next step is to try a formaldehyde rather than VOC sensor on the Toxic Mapper: [More information on Formaldehyde](http://publiclaboratory.org/notes/sara/12-13-2011/formaldehyde-sensing-indoor-air-pollution) * We also aim to sync up the Toxic Mapper's movements to the sensor speed. The Roomba moves much too fast to produce good readings -- the sensors take 15-30 seconds to detect anything -- so the group is working on a few ways to slow down the robot. One is to mechanically gear down the wheels with a kind of "scooter": The second is to use a more recent model of Roomba whose speed is programmable. We have purchased a Roomba 530 model and will be attempting to slow it down computationally rather than mechanically. ...


Author Comment Last activity Moderation
keshkumarmandavi1 " Thanks for useful information. click here " | Read more » about 3 years ago
xose "Hi @erumenig sorry for the delay. I've realized this thread remained in stand by. How did it go? Did you manage to build the device? Best! " | Read more » over 4 years ago
erumenig "Firstly, thanks for elucidate my questions. Let me understand just 1 thing more. After purchase the components and to make "DustDuino" I would hav..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "Thanks all! " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
xose "Hi erumenig, find the Shinyei PPD42 sensor, core of the dustduino, here https://www.seeedstudio.com/category/Grove-Dust-Sensor-p-1050.html " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
erumenig "Warren and Willie, hello! I would like to thank you for these informations. I heard about them. I'll try to contact the Garoa. Thank you again. " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
willie "Hi @erumenig we used mostly off the shelf components to build the dustduino kit. The only really unique piece was the acrylic case. We worked with ..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "Hi, Eduardo - sounds interesting! Maybe @schroyer @willie know -- are these parts still available for purchase? " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
stevie "Hi there! still on this project? There's a Public Lab event coming up not too far from you in Morgantown WV. You should think about coming! www.pu..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
DavidCary "Dear @bha, thank you for showing us how practical this MQ-135 sensor is. Alas, none of the images on this research note are showing up today. As ..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
chrisbartley "@ledi001 All the visualization software is custom stuff we developed at the CREATE Lab. The grapher in the demos is our BodyTrack grapher which w..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
ledi001 "Great idea and great monitoring! Please can you post some information about the software you use for the visualization of the data for the grid and..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Last week, @mathew and I worked on standard Open Pipe Kit drivers for a range of different optical dust sensors, to get them all feeding into http:..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
cversek "@tobi_k Hi, I am glad that there are others testing out these sensors with a skeptical attitude. Very often, the abosulute baseline readings from ..." | Read more » over 7 years ago
DavidMack "Are there any DustDuinos or Shenyei PPD42NS sensors out there running long term? It would be interesting to see how they correlate to the EPA refe..." | Read more » over 7 years ago
tobi_k "Hey, I also got myself the SainSmart MH-Z14 and I must say, I am not sure if I really trust the values. Mine (using Arduino and the UART interface)..." | Read more » over 7 years ago
jefffalk "Thanks for making the effort to explain and for doing the experiment. Yes, there is an interval of high correlation. " | Read more » almost 8 years ago
cversek "@jefffalk Well, I hadn't done any correlation analysis yet, but I tend not to trust algorithms that yield a single number value judgement. To bet..." | Read more » almost 8 years ago
jefffalk "Please explain what is meant by: "During the period when I am sleeping peacefully in my tent (after ~25 mins), the RH and CO2 readings seem to fluc..." | Read more » almost 8 years ago
cversek "@donblair Yes, it wouldn't be so bad to set up a tent in one's domicile for the purpose of science. It seems like a lot of correlations can be ma..." | Read more » almost 8 years ago
mathew "I'm trying to imagine how to calibrate the CO2 sensor-- Do you think we could fill up a series standard-sized balloons of some sort with a known ai..." | Read more » almost 8 years ago
donblair "This is fantastic! I love the idea of using CO2 and/or RH as a metric for sleep quality / breathing patterns. I suppose you're getting a much st..." | Read more » almost 8 years ago
beadias "alxmjo: Sorry about the delay in replying. Here is the digikey part number for the fan we use: 563-1111-ND. We checked out your DIY set up - glad t..." | Read more » about 8 years ago
alxmjo "Nice work. What sort of fan are you using to draw air across the sensor? Also, if anyone visiting this page would like to do something like this t..." | Read more » about 8 years ago