Three months of hard work and the goal to do something new that can make a difference in people’s lives led five students from Somaiya Engineering College to invent a handy device, which they call ‘The Pollution Mapper’.
The piggy bank-sized kit can be installed in a house, society or on a street lamp. Armed with multiple sensors, it can map pollution — air quality, carbon monoxide level, particulate matter and noise — and send the real time data on Google Maps using GSM and GPRS network. The pollution levels can be checked on the mobile application, website or on the device itself. The kit can also send pollution updates, similar to traffic updates.
“This also records the temperature and humidity. Since the real time data is sent on Google Maps, people who have breathing ailments can seek information of the (pollution) level in their area before stepping out,” said Gaurang Shetty, the team leader who is pursuing MBA from Somaiya Institute of Management.
Other team members are Dhiraj Gehlot and Amit Yadav, both studying electronics, and Jay Visariya and Gaurav Gandhi, both studying information technology.
The idea came to them, the students said, because they were concerned after media reports highlighted heavy air and noise pollution in the city. It took shape at the Research Innovation Incubation Development Lab of the college, ultimately winning the Small Ideas for Brighter Mumbai 2013 award from Godrej culture labs, India, and the Global Indian Entrepreneur 2013 award from the national-level Business Plan Competition.
The students spent Rs10,000 to come up with the kit. “However, if produced commercially, the cost won’t be more than Rs2,000,” Shetty said.
“We wish to collaborate with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to take this project ahead so that Mumbai has cleaner air to breathe.”
MPCB and BMC’s monitoring stations are few in number, big in size and expensive. Hence, mapping is done only at specific points. An MPCB official said, “We have only two monitoring stations in Mumbai, and cost of each is close to Rs1 crore. Such cheaper devices can do wonders for the city. However, we need to check the authenticity of their results in comparison with ours or BMC’s machines.”
Along with botany students on campus, they are gathering details of plants which are more helpful in clearing dust and pollution from the air. They will then come out with the formula to suggest the number of trees that need to be planted to keep the pollution level to a minimum.
Device can send out data on real-time
Armed with multiple sensors, the pollution mapper can send real-time data on Google Maps using GSM and GPRS network. The pollution levels can be checked on the mobile application, website or on the device itself.