CamBike Sensor

A cyclist’s mobile sensor hub for big data citizen science.

What is the CamBike Sensor Makeathon?

The CamBike Sensor Makeathon was a one-day event held as part of the CamBike Sensor project, a student-led initiative to map the road and air quality of the cycling routes of Cambridge. By encouraging Cambridge residents to assemble and/or use the easy-to-build sensors, as well as access the analysed data, this project will bring the world of science closer to the community and promote engagement with issues relating to the quality of the local environment.

The student team has developed a modular sensor hub that contains an accelerometer and particulate matter (PM10) sensor, as well as a LoRaWAN module that allows low-power wireless data transmission.We considered methods to self-power the system, to ensure it is fit for use. Additionally, we are designing a casing that will allow the sensor hub to be mounted onto bikes of all shapes and sizes, and that will not interfere with the function of the PM10 sensor or power supply. In the Makeathon, participants were invited to contribute ideas to solve these challenges.

The challenge

We explored solutions to the following challenges:

Bike mounting

  • How can we mount the hub on different bikes?
  • Does the mounting influence the data?
  • If so, how can we correct?

Power supply

  • Self-powering desirable
  • Dynamo?
  • Solar cells?
  • Batteries?
  • Circuitry?


  • The hub has to be waterproof!
  • Air pollution monitoring requires a constant airflow
  • How can we combine these requirements?