About this project
What is NODE CO2?
NODE + CO2 is a sensor module for the NODE+ bluetooth sensor platform. The CO2 module measures the Carbon Dioxide level of the air around the sensor. Using the N+Oxa app, everyone can log the CO2 level as they go about their day or when they travel. The N+Oxa app will also sync your CO2 data to the NODE Blue™ cloud server so you can access the data anywhere.
We are looking for funding to help us make this amazing sensor a reality. We have built working prototypes and are looking to take this sensor to production.
George Yu's TEDx talk at TEDxPeachtree. Skip to 6:35 to see the NODE CO2 demo to the audience.How does it work?
The NODE+CO2 works by using a miniaturized Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR) sensor to measure the CO2 gas. All gases have certain spectral absorbance. NDIR is a technique that looks at the amount of infrared absorbance in certain wavelength to determine the concentration of CO2. The CO2 concentration is then digitized and transmitted via the NODE+ platform to a smartphone or tablet.
The NODE CO2 Sensor
We took on the challenge of developing a truly mobile CO2 Module for the NODE Platform.
We are instrument makers - so we wanted a reliable, high quality sensor. Only recently did we find a CO2 sensor module that had specs to our standards AND was small enough to fit in a NODE sized enclosure You can see a few iterations of the many enclosures we experimented with.
Steps from prototype to production
We have a working prototype including an enclosure.
The prototype does have energy management issues that we need to solve. We're experimenting with a super-capacitor to help with the peak energy demand.
Along with the power management, we are adding power switches to the sensor circuit board to keep the super-capacitor charged between sensor readings. We are still in the process of finalizing the circuit board.
We want this to be a sensor that can be left in a room or in an experiment overnight, without a smart device connected - so we need to make some serious changes in the NODE firmware to allow for data logging while there is no smart device present and for seamless syncing as soon as there is a device connected.
We need to finalize the aluminum enclosure design and work with our our supplier to turn it into a production model.
We want this device to be very accurate and calibrated when we send them off so we also need to setup our first CO2 calibration room in our facility! One of the stretch goals we're thinking about is a mini calibration tool. Stay tuned for more on that!
Development & Production schedule
This is our proposed timeline:
- Finalizing circuit and design. - Work with supplier to optimize enclosure.
Feb. 2014:- Design calibration techniques and finalize firmware.- Wait for supplier on enclosure due to Chinese New Year.
Mar. 2014:- Test assembly of the sensor units- Test calibrated units for accuracy in different conditions.- Test for power consumption
- Finalize app and independent data-logging capabilities- Assembly of units- Ship reward to backers and schools
Get one give one
NODE CO2 can make a real difference in educating the next generation of great minds by engaging their understanding of the world through modern tools.
Backing this project will not only give you the reward of the first devices but will also give these sensors to schools all around the world.
It is not only an opportunity to fund a really cool device, but also to give back to your local community by investing in education using our get-one-give-one reward option.
*You get to choose the school you wish to give one to.
About us - Variable, Inc.
I'm George Yu - the founder of Variable, Inc. I started this company on Kickstarter and I'm proud of where we are now. In the past 2 years we've grown the NODE into a truly universal smart sensor platform. We have created a high tech production facility with our own pick & place machine and we keep pushing the envelope with new sensors and our Blue cloud platform.
The rest of the team
Wade Gasior is Sr. Software Engineer at Variable, Inc., responsible for the development of the NODE firmware and several other components of the NODE sensor platform. Wade has a Masters Degree in Computer Science from UTC and has done extensive research on wireless security and sensor networks.
Jeff is our Mechanical Engineer. He loves anything from 3D design to robotics and computational analysis. Jeff has a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Tech University where he did research in system modeling, system control, and optimization algorithms.
Tyler is our NODE Blue software engineer, responsible for making sure the data recorded by NODE are stored in and retrieved from the cloud correctly. Tyler is passionate about building sophisticated applications with Ruby and Rails and NODE.js.
Risks and challenges
We have built quite a few sensors at Variable already, but this NODE CO2 module has some very particular challenges! We are still working out the following issues:
- Every NODE Sensor has a aluminum enclosure - the CO2 sensor module is by far the largest we have been working with. We are still working on finding the right balance in final version of the enclosure between a perfect fitting size, strength, enough room, and cost. We've gone through several iterations of the enclosure already.
- Better power management. The CO2 sensor is the most power hungry sensor we've worked with so far. We need to tweak the NODE firmware to adapt.
- Calibration before shipping. There are a lot of CO2 sensors out there but we want the NODE CO2 sensor to be calibrated properly. We need to setup a chamber to calibrate each sensor before sending it off.
- We want the NODE CO2 sensor to work (record) without being connected to a device. This means we'll have to modify the NODE firmware and battery management to add data-logging and seamless transfer when a phone connects.
We are well qualified to solve these challenges. We are team of rapid prototyping engineers, developers, and makers with prior experience in making sensors and mobile apps. Our NODE's have found their way to customers in over 30 countries.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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