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RS announces winner of DesignSpark ‘Air-Quality Project’ competition

Winning project uses AI to represent output of air-quality sensors to deliver engaging art

LONDON, UK, 16 November 2022 – RS Group plc (LSE: RS1), a global omni-channel provider of product and service solutions, has announced the winner of its Air Quality Project, which began at the end of last year and is part of RS’ DesignSpark #ActivistEngineering programme.

The initiative was created to engage and inspire design engineers across the globe to create new ideas and technology to help deal with the vast challenges presented by climate change. Specifically, the Air Quality Project competition called upon the DesignSpark community of engineers to become beta testers to help deploy RS’ Environmental Sensor Development Kit (ESDK) and then share their projects and experiences.

The winning entry announced by the competition judges is Air Quality as Art, which was created by DesignSpark user Mike Sheldon. The project essentially creates an engaging way to monitor current environmental conditions by using artificial intelligence (AI) to draw an artistic picture representing the output of the ESDK’s air quality sensors.

Some of the images generated by the project can be seen on Twitter by following @airqualityart. In addition to his entry, RS commented that Mike also showed great community spirit in helping to develop the ESDK’s user interface, which was published on GitHub and thereby providing access to the information for all DesignSpark users.

In addition to the winner, the judges also made special recommendations for two other entries. The first was for Air Quality Monitoring in a Community Workshop, where Andrew Lindsay installed an ESDK within a community workshop to monitor conditions and detect increases in particulate matter, for example, when using the CNC router, and provide a red/amber/green visual indication of air quality. The second special recommendation was for Electrosync for using the ESDK to measure The Effects of Different 3D Printing Resins on Air Quality in a Workshop Environment.

“Our judges would like to thank everyone who entered into the competition,” said Pete Wood, Head of DesignSpark Experience at RS. “We had an amazing response, and we received many highly innovative entries from projects that monitor environmental conditions around the home or at work to those that created light and sound.”

“The Air Quality Project is a great initiative, and I learnt a lot from the DesignSpark team and also from the other entries,” said Mike Sheldon, winner of the Air Quality Project competition. “I hope that my project can help people connect with air quality on an emotional level beyond raw sensor readings, making the monitoring of the local environment an engaging and ever-changing process. I plan to use the prize money to help create more projects at the intersection of art and technology, focusing on both environmentalism and assistive technologies.”

RS Group
RS Group plc is a leading global omni-channel industrial product and service solutions provider to customers who are involved in designing, building and maintaining industrial equipment and operations, safely and sustainably. We stock more than 700,000 industrial and electronic products, sourced from over 2,500 leading suppliers, and provide a wide range of product and service solutions to over 1.2 million customers. With operations in 32 countries, we trade through multiple channels and ship over 60,000 parcels a day.

We support customers across the product life cycle, whether via innovation and technical support at the design phase, improving time to market and productivity at the build phase, or reducing purchasing costs and optimising inventory in the maintenance phase. We offer our customers tailored product and service propositions that are essential for the successful operation of their businesses and help them save time and money.

RS Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange with stock ticker RS1 and in the year ended 31 March 2022 reported revenue of £2,554 million.

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