Activist engineering programme urging community to engineer for a better world

06-12-2021 | RS Components | New Technologies

RS Components has launched its DesignSpark #ActivistEngineering programme, further building on the company’s commitment to engage and inspire design engineers around the globe to ‘make amazing happen for a better world’.

The programme launches with a pilot project meeting the issues of rising air pollution, especially pollution indoors created by airborne particles, household odours and gases, carbon dioxide, amongst others. The ‘Air Quality’ project urges the more than one million registered members of this engineering community to help design, build and deploy a global network of portable indoor air quality monitors for the home, workplace, or other public indoor spaces and share the data collected back to the community.

To support the project, the company has revealed a new cloud-enabled open-source prototyping platform that comprises open-source hardware and code created in collaboration with its partners. The DesignSpark Environmental Sensor Development Platform is built on a Raspberry Pi SBC with wireless connectivity to connect to the cloud. The kit includes a set of Air Quality sensor modules that plug into a Raspberry Pi-compatible board with a touchscreen. The platform and 3D printed enclosures are optimised for the Raspberry Pi model 3B+, although any model may be used. It is also compatible with PMOD, enabling connection to a substantial range of PMOD add-on boards.

The project will roll out across three phases for six months from November 2021, with a small group of first phase participants chosen to Alpha test the sensor development platform. These users will create and share inspirational projects with the community, preparing the way for phase two of the project, which will be extended to all members with an opportunity to win one of 50 sensor kits. Commercial availability will follow in the final phase.


“Sustainability is critical to the future of our planet, which is why we are calling on engineers across the globe to use their skills and take action,” said Mike Bray, group lead - Innovation andDesignSpark at Electrocomponents. “Through programmes like this, we hope engineers will join together in force to create sustainable designs that will make a positive difference to people and communities.”

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