Homebrew Sensing Project

Via The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science


To build Homebrew Sensing Project, a set of low-cost hardware and free software tools community members can use to measure local health data, such as air and water quality.

Communities are increasingly concerned about the array of hazardous chemicals that surrounds us - from formaldehyde in building materials to fumes from industrial sites - and their long and short term health impacts. To address this problem, the Public Laboratory wants to provide more low-cost chemical analysis tools, including simple devices that can be plugged into smartphones and laptops, so residents can measure the effects themselves instead of relying on costly labs. With its community of over 3,500 active members, Public Lab raised $110,000 in 2012 through Kickstarter to use DIY spectrometry tools to identify petroleum in sediments in coastal Louisiana and monitor emissions from oil refineries, among other projects. Challenge funding will allow the lab’s Homebrew Sensing Project to not only expand but improve its hardware, software and interface with citizens to collect data that empowers communities.

Project Team

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science