In the fourth quarter of 2013, we launched 3 new free Android apps in the Google Play store.

2 of them require additional hardware, but the third works with the Sensordrone out of the box.

SocialDrone for Android

SocialDrone Free Android AppLaunched in October, SocialDrone allows you to post data collected from your Sensordrone quickly and easily right from your Android powered device to social media:

SocialDrone lets you take measurements with your Sensordrone, and post them to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

Simply select Facebook/Google+/Twitter, sign in, select a sensor and post your readings!

 

This app requires no additional hardware, and is a fun way to tweet or share ambient temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure or altitude, as well as levels of any of the oxidizing and reducing gases the Sensordrone can measure with its 11 on board sensors. You can read more about the sensors here:  Sensordrone.

Water Quality Meter for Android

Most recently released is the Water Quality Meter for Android.  This app is designed to read data from your Sensordrone working in conjunction with two of our new add on modules: pH level and/or Dissolved Oxygen Levels.

Water Quality Meter for AndroidFor this app to work, you need the app, a Sensordrone, and one or both of our pH Level Meter or Dissolved Oxygen Level Meter.  You won’t be able to use the app without those, but you can still download and install the app if you want to see it “in action”.

The Water Quality Meter app allows you to use the Atlas-Scientific pH and dissolved oxygen probe add-on modules for the Sensordrone available athttps://sensorcon.com (This means extra hardware is needed to use the app!)

The pH section allows you to measure pH using the pH probe add-on module, and perform a calibration at pHs of 4, 7, and 10. For measurements, a temperature offset can optionally be set, for improved accuracy.

The dissolved oxygen section allows you to take measurements using the dissolved oxygen probe and perform probe calibration. For measurements, a temperature and conductivity offset can optionally be set, for improved accuracy.

For both add-on modules, an on-board probe ID can be set on the probe (useful if you have several probes of one type). The firmware version of the probe modules can be read as well.

All measurements made while the app is running are logged, and can optionally be exported as a csv file before the app is closed (the file is deleted when the app is closed, so be sure to save it if you need to).

Head over to our online store to read more about our add on modules for Sensordrone.

Air Quality Monitor App for Android

Last but certainly not least, in late August we released the Air Quality Monitor app for Android. The app reads carbon monoxide (CO) levels direct from your Sensordrone, as well as Carbon Dioxide levels if you’ve Air Quality Monitor for Androidpurchased the CO2 Extension from our store, here.  So, in a sense this will work with your Sensordrone out of the box, but to achieve the full functionality, you will need to purchase the additional hardware.

Air Quality Monitor (AQM) allows you to pair a Sensordrone and measure the air quality based on the amount of Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2), if you have purchased the CO2 external module.

At any time, you can tap the face in the lower left portion of your screen to request a measurement.

AQM also provides a service that can run at a specified interval automatically to log your air quality in the background (for more information please see the help menu in the “Settings” page).

All of your measurements are saved in a local database on your device, that can easily be sent as a csv file.

We’re always looking for feedback on our official apps, so please feel free to comment below if you have suggestions.

Moreover, the Sensordrone code is open source, so if you are a developer, you can create your own apps that utilize all the functionalities of our device, as well as any sensor or component you can connect to the Sensordrone through the expansion port (0-3V Analog sensor or a digital (TTL UART or i2C)).  To us, this one of the most exciting aspects of the Sensordrone.  Download the specs here: Spec Sheet, or head over to http://developer.sensordrone.com and learn more!

Thoughts or questions?

While winter isn’t technically here in North America, you’d be hard pressed to tell by looking out your window.  With the cold weather associated with winter, carbon monoxide information will start to creep into your local and national newscasts.  In most cases, that information is good and accurate.  Sometimes, however, some of the myths surrounding carbon monoxide still get passed around, even from trusted media sources.  So as far as I’m concerned, here’s the three most important things you should know about carbon monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide is Present in Your Home and Business Every Day

First off, it’s very important to understand that carbon monoxide (abbreviated as CO) doesn’t simply “show up” and cause your alarm to go off.  Unlike the smoke that causes smoke detectors to sound, carbon monoxide is always present in the air we breathe.  Secondly, even modestly elevated levels over short periods of time are not harmful to humans.

What causes problems, and what causes most modern carbon monoxide detectors to fire alerts is rising carbon monoxide levels over an extended period of time.  It’s in these kinds of situations that it can become dangerous, and in fact deadly.  To understand this, you can think of what is a common root cause of carbon monoxide poisoning: combustion engines running in confined spaces.  You may well have heard that you shouldn’t run your car in a closed garage.  Similarly, you shouldn’t use a portable generator indoors, even in a closed garage.  Those two scenarios cause rapid and consistent elevations of carbon monoxide, and very hazardous conditions for a family, and their pets.

Dangerous Carbon Monoxide Levels

Again, approximates only. Please research levels in your home carefully, and ask questions about carbon monoxide levels.

The Center for Consumer Product Safety estimates that several hundred people die in the United States annually from carbon monoxide poisoning, and several thousand are hospitalized (source)

So what is the normal level of carbon monoxide?  CO is measured in parts per million, or PPM.  This figure essentially indicates how many carbon monoxide molecules exist in a sample of 1,000,000 molecules of air.  Generally speaking, CO levels in a home are normally .5 to 5 PPM, which is obviously a very small amount.

Where you need to be careful is as you approach 70PPM.  That would be a dangerous number for some people, especially those individuals with heart conditions.  130 PPM can be potentially fatal to almost anyone.

Sources of Elevated Carbon Monoxide

As mentioned earlier, winter and cold weather tend to be common factors in carbon monoxide poisoning incidents.

In large part, this is because furnaces and fire places start to be used, and blockages in ventilation can cause dangerous carbon monoxide build ups.  So if you’re using a virtual-carbon-monoxide-inspectorportable carbon monoxide detector such as our Inspector Series, or even our Sensordrone with the CO Inspector app on your smart phone, looking around these areas with the unit is a good start.

Many times, a closed flu, whether its unintentionally left closed or somehow mechanically stuck can cause elevated CO levels in a home.  Further, build ups in chimneys can restrict air flow, and cause issues.  Check with a local chimney professional if you suspect a problem with your furnace or fire place.  NOTE:  If your CO alarm is going off, your first course of action should be leaving the home or facility, as opposed to looking for a solution.  A solution can be found later, once everyone is safe.

 

It made it to 101,375 feet anyhow… via a balloon.

EOSS192 at burst see sensordrome payload

A huge thank you to Jose Lopez, a retired USAF Colonel and current lecturer at MSU Denver for sending our Sensordrone to where no Sensordrone has gone before.  Almost to the Final Frontier.  Interesting to us of course since we consider the device to be a tricorder.

Jose was kind enough to send along some pictures from the flight.  The first image, above, shows the break up of the balloon at 101,375 feet.

Full details of the launch can be found here: http://www.eoss.org/ansrecap/ar_200/recap191_192.htm

Since the Sensordrone wasn’t conceived to operate at that kind of altitude, which would include incredibly low temperatures and pressures, MSU Denver was kind enough to return the device to us (which we will replace) so we can analyze the effects of that hostile environment on our design, and the included sensors.

We’ll post those results if we can, down the road.

Thanks again to the team of EOSS 191/192 for their interest and cooperation.  More images below!

EOSS 192 16 Nov 2013 2

EOSS 192 flight map 3D

EOSS 192 flight map

EOSS-192 16 Nov 2013 1

sensordrone4 MSU Denver EOSS 192

sesnordrone1 MSU Denver EOSS192

sesnordrone2 MSU Denver EOSS192

sesnordrone3 MSU Denver EOSS192

TeamApollo picts of marshmellowman

 

Lastly, if you’re not familiar with what the Sensordrone does, here’s a really brief introductory video: