World Maker Faire 2015: Prometheus And The New Air Quality Egg

There were plenty of projects and products to be seen at the 2015 World Maker Faire. In the maker pavilion, we found [Rocco Tuccio] showing off Prometheus, his PCB CNC router. Machines like this make prototyping circuits easy. Just place a blank piece of copper clad in the machine, load up your design, and a few minutes later you’ll have a board ready to stuff. Prometheus spspindleorts some impressive specs: 7 mil (0.18 mm) trace and space, and a Total Indicated Runout (TIR) of .0001 inches (2.5 micron). Not bad for a spindle turning 40,000 RPM. [Rocco] has spent the last two years designing this machine, and has sourced most of the parts from local US vendors. The unique part of Prometheus is the spindle design. Like many other small PCB routers, Prometheus uses a brushless quadcopter motor for power. Rather than go with a belt system, [Rocco] simplified things to a simple friction drive. The only precision parts he has to worry about are the bearings which hold the cutting bits in place. Prometheus isn’t for sale yet. [Rocco] plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign in the coming months.


egg1A few minutes later we ran into [Victor Aprea] from Wicked Device, showing off the Air Quality Egg V2. [Victor] and his partner [Dirk] ran the design and manufacturing side of the Air Quality Egg, which had a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2012. The eggs from that campaign can be found online at the project’s website. [Victor and Dirk] have greatly improved on the Egg since then. The biggest update are the sensors. Sensors for ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide are now much more sensitive units from SpecSensors. These sensors don’t come cheap though. To keep costs down, [Victor and Dirk] have released three separate versions of the product with different sensor suites. On the connectivity side, the egg is now based upon Wicked Device’s Wildfire, allowing it to connect to WiFi networks. These Eggs mean business too – [Victor  and Dirk] obtained permission to co-locate a trio of eggs alongside an official New York State/EPA air quality sensing unit. The Eggs all read within 2 parts per million for carbon monoxide, and 10 parts per billion for sulfur dioxide. As with the original Egg, these devices are open source hardware. Source code is available on Wicked Device’s Github.

5 thoughts on “World Maker Faire 2015: Prometheus And The New Air Quality Egg

  1. The only eggs I know that mean business are chicken’s eggs. The most numerous vertebrate life form on Earth.
    Great idea, but it’s all in the $ensor$.
    Sulfur dioxide, I had a classic “monitor top” fridge once. I got it from a friend at work who found it in a dump a state away. It was rather noisy but in a slower way. Someone from the theater dept. at Purdue was visiting and wanted it for a depression era play. No It’s working, want a cold one? One day my house mate woke me up to say there was a funny smell in the kitchen. I went down the stairs and said “go to the phone in the front hall and call the fire dept. and tell them we have a leaking fridge with sulfur dioxide…I will see you outside” as I went out the back. With air tanks on back they bear-hugged it and carried it out and down the stairs. Whew! It would have maxed and burnt out one of those sensors.
    Rotten eggs aren’t that far off either.
    In half a century a suite of air sensors will create even supreme court level problems with personal “data”! One decision all ready made may apply. No non human senses may invade without a warrant. But then ubiquity becomes unavoidable.

  2. *In half a century a suite of air sensors will create even supreme court level problems with personal “data”*

    Haha, indeed. If you have cloud connected CO2 sensor in your bedroom then it is nicely visible when you decide to have a “little exercise” on your bed.

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