Mechanical Lung 156

In our everyday life, we tend to breath bad quality air without noticing, partly because it is invisible.
On the other hand, breathing bad air can destroy your health – it can cause shortness of breath, increase in fatigue, aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions, and even affect your heart system. Air pollution can be extremely hard to detect, especially indoors. People can sit indoors for long hours and breathe bad air without knowing it.
Mechanical Lung 156 is an entity made for creating awareness of air quality by reading the air and expressing it with the lung’s shape & color & smoke, in a silent and unobtrusive way. It is built for indoor environments, where it sits quietly and indicates the current quality of the air.


Mechanical Lung will tell you the current air quality level by changing its behavior according to the air quality level.
There are three levels of air quality:

  • Level 1 – Breathing
    • Air quality: Normal
    • Meaning: You can breathe the air safely.
    • Color: Blue
    • Movement: Calm & stable breath
  • Level 2 – Agitating
    • Air quality: Dirty
    • Meaning: It’s time to open the window and refresh the air
    • Color: Purple
    • Movement: Fast breathing, hyperventilation.
  • Level 3 – Critical
    • Air quality: Hazardous
    • Meaning: The air quality is really bad. Go outside and take a break.
    • Color: Red
    • Movement: Dry & contracted. Smoke starts forming inside the lung.

Mechanical Lung 156 is controlled through an Arduino Uno. The circuit consists of two fans, one used for contracting and one for expanding. Both the fans are connected through transistors to higher voltage power sources so they can run optimally. There is also a relay connecting a hacked e-cigarette. The smoke component of the e-cigarette was taken out and controlled through the Arduino, which was used to turn it on or off through a relay. Moreover, there is an air quality sensor that detects the Carbon Dioxide parts per million in the air and responds accordingly. Finally, there is an RGB LED strip inside that lights up based on the condition of the air. All of these components were held together on a base and turned upside down to get the final outcome of a breathing, mechanical lung, as can be seen in the video.