According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 3 million people die yearly from illness attributable to household air pollution. While smoke alarms and miscellaneous environmental detectors are already in many homes, they lack systems of data visualization, portable-ness, and the ability to monitor multiple gases. ClimateSafe is a multi-purpose air quality monitoring system designed with the user in mind. With the ability to detect six hazards (carbon monoxide, temperature, humidity, LPG, combustible gas, and smoke), ClimateSafe ensures that you’re in a safe place. ClimateSafe has three main features: continuous air quality monitoring, text alerts to users for dangerous levels air pollution, and online dashboard to view the data collected. With this device, ClimateSafe has three main applications: smart home monitoring, portable (on-the-person) monitoring, and dangerous area monitoring. Our hope is that the product of our efforts can help those in the future investigate what and where air pollution is more prominent and help alert the public when it is unsafe.

Understanding the Problem

According to the WHO, 7 million people die yearly from air pollution. Additionally, 99% of the global population breathe air that contains high levels of pollutants, with low-middle income families suffering the most (WHO). Yet, these are only the statistics from air pollution, not considering other environmental hazards such as heat, carbon monoxide poisoning, or smoke. Additionally, in the home, over 3 million people die yearly from illnesses attributable to household air pollution (WHO). There lacks a unified device to collect data, monitor, and analyze data about environmental hazards in the house. Thus, we set out to create a portable, economical, and modular device that’s able to detect, track, analyze and warn against environmental hazards .

Design Criteria and Objectives

Must Haves

  • Data must be able to be sent to a database from the Arduino

  • A website must be able to pull data from the database and display it

  • Have a hardware case on the design

  • Users must be immediately alerted when they enter a zone of dangerous conditions.


Should Haves

  • Data analysis should be performed to show areas with high levels of danger

  • Dashboard to view all data metrics ever collected (table view)

  • Map that plots where Possibly Harmful/Harmful or Very Harmful alerts

Design Alternatives

In brainstorming ideas in an attempt to reduce air pollution and other environmental hazards, we came up with two main solutions: air purification and filtration and air quality monitoring. 


Air Purification

Air purification involves typically using a fan and some sort of filter to pass “original” air before outputting a cleaner version of the air, after removing particles in the air using a filter in the air purification machine. An air purification machine should:

  • Be able to filter out air particles at an unhealthy level to change it to a healthy level

  • A “closed-loop” system where if the air quality reaches above a certain threshold, the air purification system turns on.

  • A portable and affordable device that’s cheaper than existing alternatives.

While air purification was a great idea, there are a multitude of existing alternatives, making it difficult to make a cost-efficient product that has better performance than the leading brands. Additionally, if we made a air purification machine, due to the competitive nature of the market, it is harder to gain market share and be profitable.


Air Quality Monitoring (Best Idea)

Air quality monitoring involves using sensors to collect and analyze data about the surrounding environment. Additionally, with the tools that we had, we realized that we’re able to extend monitoring to factors other than air quality, including temperature and humidity. Our ideas for air quality monitoring included

  • Sensors that monitor environmental hazards in the air around the device.

  • A device that’s able to both monitor data and send alerts to users when they’re in a dangerous area.

  • A device that’s both portable and able to be carried with you AND is able to double as a smart home monitor.

In doing research in existing air quality monitoring devices for personal and home use, there exists almost no alternatives that complete all tasks. Wave is one company that uses an app combined with an air quality sensor to monitor data, but only indoors. 

Final Design and Testing Results

In the design of a continuous air quality monitor, we designed a system designed to provide the user with a smooth and friendly experience.

Here’s a diagram of how ClimateSafe works. 

  1. First, data is collected about the environment about carbon monoxide, smoke, humidity, temperature, LPG, and combustible gas.

    • These environmental factors are collected via four sensors.

  2. All data from sensors is sent to our microcontroller (Heltec WiFi kit 32) and aggregated.

  3. The microcontroller sends data to our database, BUT in this process…

    • If the data collected is determined as dangerous, send a text alert to the user.

    • Send the data to the database, regardless of whether or not the data is dangerous

  4. When users visit our website dashboard, data is pulled from our database, and data analysis is performed, to create the charts and statistics shown to the user.

ClimateSafe Box

ClimateSafe is built with a Heltec microcontroller and is enclosed in a box. All sensors are safety attached and in the ClimateSafe box. Additionally, there’s a fan in at one end of ClimateSafe, designed to increase air flow throughout the device, allowing for accurate detection of environmental factors.

Online Dashboard (climatesafe.vercel.app)

Our online dashboard (climatesafe.vercel.app) shows all data collected from ClimateSafe, presented in a visually pleasing way. The website was developed from scratch using next.js, react.js, chakra ui, and chart.js. Feel free to log in with Ganning’s sample login and explore.

Autonomous Exploration System

The automated exploration system is a robot dog controlled by a Rasberry Pi. The robot dog uses an ultrasonic sensor to determine how close objects are and uses an automated system for object avoidance.

Video Presentation


While ClimateSafe was a successful project, we believe there are many improvements that can be made:

  1. Microcontroller Sign Up System 

  2. Storage and data upload once reaching wifi-areas

  3. GPS to map out dangerous areas

  4. Variety in Sensors / Customizable Sensors Packages

  5. Dashboard Subscription System ($)

In creating ClimateSafe, we would like to extend acknowledgments and appreciation to:

  • The Pratt School of Engineering for providing us with the equipment necessary to complete our project.

  • Dr. Delagrammatikas for hosting the Duke Summer STEM Academy and providing us with support throughout the project.

  • Mentors for constantly pushing us and giving us great ideas on how to improve our project.

Meet the Team

Throughout the Development of ClimateSafe, we utilized each team member’s strengths to develop the best final product.