Researcher Daan Roosegaarde and his team at Studio Roosegaarde are working on a ‘Smog Free Project’ and recently opened a Smog Free Tower in Park Jordana, Kraków, Poland. To date the team have created the Smog Free Tower, Smog Ring, and the Smog Free Bicycle and continue to develop innovative ideas for creating clean air throughout the world.
But Roosegaarde is not content with just new ideas to clean up our skies, he now has thoughts about creating personal, portable clean air spaces and has come up with the idea of a device hovering above the head, creating a bubble of clean air as a person walks through polluted areas.
While the Smog Free Drone, or Smog Free Floatable is still in its infancy, the team believe this new artistic vision from Studio Roosegaarde is a viable idea.
Roosegaarde says the Smog Free Drone could offer an alternative to a face mask; he describes it as a ‘Pac-Man’ moving through the city keeping a person safe.
While technical challenges with regards to battery life, safety and sound remain, Roosegarde believes these can be resolved if enough time and effort can be devoted to the project, and the Smog Free Drone could become a reality.
He says they are making ‘an open call’ to anyone who wants and knows how the drone can be made and if so they should contact them.
According to Roosegarde,the design of drones themselves could help the realization of the project as drones already have an air flow of sorts, needed for them to stay up in the air and use might be made of that to design the thermodynamics underneath, or above the head.
In Krakow, one of Europe’s most polluted cities, the Smog Free Tower has been a success; regular measurements are taken to test the tower’s performance, and it is popular with little dogs who struggle to cope with smog and the tower has become a meeting place where they seem to relish the clean air!
There are similar towers in China and the Netherlands, but Studio Roosegaarde made a few minor alterations in terms of production to the Krakow tower and can monitor the tower online. Roosegarde says as the tower is in a public park anyone can freely access the clean air.
The team calculate the park can be made between 20 and 70 percent cleaner than the rest of the city in terms of clean air.
At a symposium held in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Studio Roosegarde exchanged ideas on creating change on air quality with local creatives and activists, and Roosegaarde said, the innovation is about unique technological innovation along with social and political innovation. In summarising he said, “we live in an economical system which is all about money and time and while we all want a new economical system which is about clean air, clean water and clean energy”, the dilemma is how this can be achieved.
Roosegarde says they will be launching the Smog Free Project in Mexico, Colombia and India in the coming months.