Joe Saavedra at Design Indaba 2011

Friday, 25 February 2011

Parsons graduate Joe Saavedra is a young technology designer who creates open source designs available for anyone to replicate via instructions and videos on his website. Presenting his work yesterday at Design Indaba, Joe charmed the audience with two of his impressive student projects.

The first was the humourous but ingenious SOBEaR which he described as combining his two favourite things, "robots and alcohol". SOBEaR is essentially an intelligent bartending robot with a breathalyser built in. By pressing a button in SOBEaR’s left foot and then blowing into the alcohol sensor above his bow tie, the drinker can see their alcohol reading on a scale of 1 – 6, displayed using LEDs embedded on the bear's chest. Then SOBEaR pours a drink with an alcohol-to-mixer ratio that he deems appropriate for your current BAC level.

Citizen Sensor by Joe Saavedra

The second was the Citizen Sensor. A wearable sensor pack system that allows the user to find out about their surrounding environmental conditions, including the levels of carbon monoxide, light, noise pollution, and methane gas exposure among others. Users can program the sensor to choose which conditions they want to gauge, and then connect with others around the world to share their knowledge and experiences.

Saavedra said his work was about "empowering people to read their own environment instead of relying on government data which is sometimes years out of date". Users of the pack system could be anyone from school children to allergy and asthma sufferers.