Sunday, March 11, 2007

Emissions Sensing

I just finished putting together the first three prototypes of the emissions sensing device I'm helping design for Engineers Without Borders. The idea is to sense CO, CO2, and particulate matter levels near indoor cook stoves so the stoves can be modified to be safe and efficient. Around two billion people live in households that use solid fuels with poor combustion and ventilation. A year ago Professor Tami Bond gave a great presentation explaining the history of efforts to prevent the health and environmental problems caused by wood stoves and how the problem is being approached today (including our effort).
Top prototype showing the menu in Spanish, middle showing the language selection dialog, and bottom showing the data screen.
There is still a lot to do, including finalizing our choices for sensors, getting the device running on batteries, and getting PCBs made. Our entire effort (firmware, hardware, documentation) is open-source, released under the MIT license. Unfortunately we are currently using a proprietary C compiler as no FOSS compiler for our microprocessor (PIC18F4455) seems to exist.


  1. Check out it may have support for your pic.

    Also has a cheap c and basic c++ compiler for pics

  2. Have you considered using an MSP430?

    There's a very good chance it'll be lower power than your PIC, it uses gcc for compiling and you can also debug it with gdb (with a proprietry daemon for that), all on Linux or Windows. They also seem to have great LCD support.