Once in a while, South East Asia countries such as Singapore and Malaysia suffers from the haze, a fire-related large-scale air pollution problem that occurs regularly. Especially during dry season there are some persisting forest fires in Indonesia that spread to other countries nearby.
In 2015 the haze hit Singapore quite badly, causing schools to close down for one day. That’s why during Hyper Haze Hackathon taking place in Singapore, Tian Lye Teo and Ethan Lee Yong Sheng worked on and presented a low-cost solution based on Arduino Uno to tackle difficulty to communicate haze rising to illiterate elderly in the nation and won second prize !
Here’s how the two creators described the project:
The main problem we are trying to address is to help the elderly who are living alone in Singapore during the haze period. There are several factors that make this a suitable source of information for them. While the PSI* reading are widespread, they might not be accessible to these elders (no cellphone, TV, radio) or they do not understand the mainstream languages used by our medium (Chinese, English etc).
Furthermore, the PSI reading comes with 2 sets of readings (3hr and 24 hrs) and it is confusing to them what need to be done when PSI reached a certain number (“200 already? so what? aiyo… looks clear lei”).
The solution we came up with is this inexpensive Arduino device that fetch current PSI reading from a server. With the reading, the device will point at one of the five indicators that ranges from don’t need to “wear mask” to “die die cannot go out’.
The device actually cost about 20 dollars to build and implementation is ideally done at home. However, we understand that elders would not pay for this (“20 dollars?! I can eat 5 days meals with this”). We are hoping we can get in touch with some organisation(perhaps the govt) to install this at either the lift lobby at every floor or at the ground floor. We believe that even at its current stage, it is still very useful for the elders.
The ideal grand plan we had for this is to be able to link this to the pioneer generation card and from there, dispense a mask for the elder so that they can travel safe (something we felt the govt might help)
Please help spread this by sharing it and hopefully someone can help us achieve this little wish of two guys trying to give back to the pioneer generation who helped built the nation
*PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) is an index to provide understandable information about daily levels of air quality and it’s the indicator used in Singapore to show how bad the haze is. The monitoring stations measure concentration levels of particulate matter (PM10), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and carbon monoxide (CO). All of them determine the level of PSI.