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IDTW2021

G2 – track my life

Hello! Hallo! Bonjour!

We are a group of 4 students from France and Germany!

Members: Merle Winkelmann (scrum master), Lenny Boyer (developer), Jonas Junker (developer), Yannis Bouacha (developer)

In the six days of our “Sustainable Smart Living” workshop, we dealt with the topic of CO2 emission and made up our minds for a smart solution, usable for everyone with a smartphone!

Keep scrolling and you will see our results and insights from our working process.

A surprise for you at the end

If you’re interested in Arduino/microcontrollers and want to know how they can be used in times of corona – stay tuned!


THE PROBLEM WITH THE CO2 EMISSIONS

(no rights for the image)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is currently the key challenge throughout the world as it is considered to be one of the main contributers to the greenhouse effect.

“Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide—the most dangerous and prevalent greenhouse gas—are at the highest levels ever recorded.”

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/greenhouse-gases

The effects on our environment, the weather and climate system are noticable for everyone today – rising average temperatures, extreme weather conditions like increasing wildfires, animals going extinct and much more.

CLIMATE KILLER 1: CONSUMPTION

The most greenhouse gas emissions are produced when we make purchases (Germany), because of so many aspects.

The manufacture, the package material, the traffic routes (car, airplane, ship), but also disposal and recycling leave a large CO2 footprint.

Although many people are conscious about the climate change and see the affects in the media everyday, they still continue with their luxury standard of living when buying animal products, exotic food and ordering cheap clothes from the other side of the continent.

So we wanted to create a tool to reflect your own mindset and behaviour since every change starts with yourself.

SOLUTION STEP 1 – OUR EMPATHY MAP

The first step towards our smart sustainable solution was to understand the needs, feelings, pains and gains from our app user.

SOLUTION STEP 2 –
PROBLEM AND SOLUTION STATEMENT

After thinking about and emphazing with the user and target group, we formulated a problem and solution statement to refer to during the developing process.

Who, what, where, why

“Our person has a bad consumption behaviour when he is going (grocery) shopping. He needs help for a more sustainable lifestyle. Our solution contains an smartphone app with a barcode scanner, that shows the CO2 emission of the product and evaluates it with a green/yellow/red light.”

…Advantage or reward?…

So what makes sure that people will like the app? It’s always easier to motivate people to do something with a positive connotation instead of forcing them to stop their habits.

We thought about showing the user appreciation inside the app after every shopping trip and a report of the CO2 footprint. Maybe some positive messages to show the value of his efforts.

SOLUTION STEP 3 – THE PROTOTYPE

Starting your product/app with creating a prototype is good because it gives a first visual impression of how the product will look like in the end. This prototype can differ from the final product as it may show ideas that turn out differently. It doesn’t include all features at the beginning, but should atleast show the basic functionalities.

Planned features for our app:

  • the scanner
  • the CO2 emission level
  • evaluation (traffic light system)
  • Partners
  • last shopping activity
  • report of CO2 footprint
  • push up messages (positive or motivational)

Our prototype:
(not all planned features included)

SOLUTION STEP 4 – SCANNER

The scanner was planned to be one of the main elements of our app. The barcode will be scanned and the app will show the number associated with the product.

The next step has to be about the implementation of showing information about the product to the user. The evaluation system needs to be implemented as well as a feature.

CO2 AND MICROCONTROLLERS

Backround: As we decided in our group to work with the topic of CO2 in general, our ideas for a project differed. We had different skills in our group, which were either more software (developing) based or more hardware based.

For us (like for the teachers) it was important that there is balance between the final product and the learning process itself.

This project is located in another subtopic, which isn’t air pollution but still about the topic CO2 and air quality.

Corona: In times of the pandemic, it’s really important to keep a good air quality with a lot of fresh O2 when sitting in a room which many people. But because humans can’t really sense the air quality, we need other technologies.

Traffic Light System with Arduino, RGB LED and gas sensor

With a microcontroller like an Arduino, a gas sensor and an rgb led, it’s easy to get a visual signal when the air quality decreases. (the value is set in advance).

The free software “tinkercad” supports the learning process, makes it possible to simulate specific situations and it teaches you how to program (C++) with an Arduino.

THE SIMULATION (WITH TINKERCAD)

List of items for the CO2 traffic light

Here is a list of items to try out the sketch at home:

  • 1x Arduino Uno R3 (or another microcontroller)
  • 1x Gas Sensor (e.g MQ-135)
  • 1x RGB LED
  • 4x resistors (1 kΩ, 330 kΩ)
  • wires

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