Activist Engineering programme from RS urges DesignSpark community to 'engineer for a better world'

22 November 2021

DesignSpark Activist Engineering
DesignSpark Activist Engineering

RS Components programme commences with a project calling on engineers to tackle indoor air pollution using new Raspberry Pi-based DesignSpark Environmental Sensor Development Platform.

Industrial & electronic components distributor, RS Components (RS) has launched its DesignSpark #ActivistEngineering programme, further strengthening the company’s commitment to engage and inspire design engineers across the globe to ‘make amazing happen for a better world’.

The DesignSpark #ActivistEngineering programme gets underway with a pilot project addressing the challenges of rising air pollution, particularly pollution indoors caused by airborne particles, household odours and gases, carbon dioxide, among others. The ‘Air Quality’ project urges the more than one million registered members of the DesignSpark engineering community to help design, build and deploy a global network of portable indoor air quality monitors for the home, workplace, or other public indoor spaces and share the data collected back to the community.

To support the project, RS has unveiled a new cloud-enabled open-source prototyping platform that consists of open-source hardware and code developed in collaboration with DesignSpark partners. The DesignSpark Environmental Sensor Development Platform is based on a Raspberry Pi single-board computer (SBC) with wireless connectivity to connect to the cloud. The kit comprises a set of Air Quality sensor modules that plug into a Raspberry Pi-compatible board with touchscreen. The platform and 3D printed enclosures are optimised for the Raspberry Pi model 3B+, though any model can be used. It is also compatible with peripheral modules (PMOD), allowing connection to an extensive range of PMOD add-on boards.

RS_DesignSpark_Activist_Engineering_programme_Environmental Sensor Development Platform
RS_DesignSpark_Activist_Engineering_programme_Environmental Sensor Development Platform

The Air Quality project will roll out over three phases for six months from November 2021, with a small group of first phase participants selected to Alpha test the sensor development platform. These users will create and share inspirational projects to the DesignSpark community, paving the way for phase two of the project which will be extended to all DesignSpark members with an opportunity to win one of 50 sensor kits. Commercial availability will follow in the final phase.

Sustainability is critical to the future of our planet, which is why we are calling on engineers across the globe to use their skills and take action,” said Mike Bray, Group Lead - Innovation & DesignSpark at RS parent company, Electrocomponents. “Through programmes like this, we hope engineers will join together in force to create sustainable designs that will make a positive difference to people and communities.

The launch of the DesignSpark #ActivistEngineering programme supports the broader goals of the Electrocomponents Group, which published its global 2030 ESG action plan: For a better world on 4 November.

To find out how engineers can get involved, please visit:

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