Connected Carbon Monoxide sensor for car or garage

License: CC0-1.0

Language: JavaScript

Car Bon: Safety from CO Poisoning


Cars in enclosed spaces can generate high levels of Carbon Monoxide (CO), which is a colorless, odorless, tasteless toxic gas. This can lead to the death of people and their pets.

Recently, remote start and push-to-start cars are becoming more prevalent. This means the danger of CO poisoning could be unlocked from simply accidentally using a smartphone app. We believe that a solution to this problem integrated into a car would be effective at reducing the risk of CO poisoning.

Introducing Car Bon

Car Bon is a hack, made at the AT&T Car, Home & Hackathon in September 2014. The hack consists of a few parts that work together:

  • Car Module when it detects a spike in CO readings, it uses Ericsson's Connected Vehicle API to turn off the engine of the car. It also reports a danger value to AT&T's M2X. If the sensor readings fall back down, it clears the danger report in M2X.

  • Home Module queries M2X for signs of danger reported by the Car Module and opens the garage door to vent the CO.

  • Phone App a cross-platform, native phone app using Phone Gap queries M2X for signs of danger reported by the Car Module and alerts the app user with visual and popup notification. The app works on Windows, iOS, and Android.

Building the hack

The Car Module uses the u-blox C027 mbed enabled Internet of Things kit , an ARM mbed development kit, to read the Carbon Monoxide Sensor MQ-7 from SparkFun via a one of the ADC pins. A separate pin controls a transistor for controlling the MQ-7 heating element. The firmware on the CO27 mbed is programmed to detect spikes in sensor readings and uses the cellular antenna built into the CO27 mbed, and AT&T's cellular network to interface with Ericsson's connected car API endpoint. It also uses the cellular connectivity to update an M2X stream. It also uses AT&T's m2x-arm-mbed library. The Car Module mbed code is available on the mbed website.

The Home Module uses the Freescale FRDM-K64F, an ARM mbed development platform, to poll m2x over its ethernet connection. It connects to a SparkFun RedBoard, which is used to control a RC hobby servo to demonstrate opening a garage door. The RedBoard also reads a button, which can be used as a override if our demo stops working. The Home Module mbed code is available on the mbed website.

The Phone App is built using Adobe Phone Gap. We used the PhoneGap Developer App to quickly prototype our app that can be built as a cross-platform, native app on Windows, iOS, and Android. The Phone App uses AT&T's m2x-javascript library for interfacing with m2x.

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Presentation slides

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Ryan Mulligan Brian Lu Dylan Simpson

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