Community Engineering

Ever since we innovated a robotic fire hydrant for our local fire department, Team 1540 has continued to develop our model of community engineering projects. By engineering solutions alongside nonprofits, corporate partners, FIRST teams, and our community at large, we work to foster a culture of compassionate innovation. Here are some examples of our community-focused projects:


WaterWand is an all-in-one mobile water quality monitoring system designed specifically for the nonprofit environmental organization, Surfrider. WaterWand provides an inexpensive and easy-to-use solution for water quality monitoring of oceans, lakes, and rivers. Using WaterWand, environmental nonprofits like Surfrider will be able to monitor the health of aquatic ecosystem, and take action in preserving local ecology and aquatic life.



JuiceBox is an efficient and sustainable way to provide electricity t0 off-the-grid, portable pods for previously homeless people.

TheJuiceBox is of the winners of The Lexus Eco Challenge First Round, where we won $10,000! All winnings are going back to the effort and will be used to fund the creation and implementation of more JuiceBoxes. 

For more information, go to


AbleMail is an email client that works to remove the accessibility barriers that current email clients present for people with cognitive disabilities.


The JonApp is a task oriented app that supports individuals with cognitive or developmental disabilities. It helps them gain independence and become more efficient in the workplace. It was designed for Jon, an individual who works at Catlin Gabel organizing media equipment, and has cognitive disabilities.


WashPod provides off-the-grid and transportable laundry and shower facilities to the previously houseless population.

     Water Trotter:

Water Trotter is a cost-efficient way to easily transport water in developing countries by using easy-to-get and accessible resources. The prototype transports water while purifying it as the wheel turns. Ultraviolet lamps powered by solar pannels are placed between the two tires to kill the microbes in the water. This is beneficial for clean drinking water, and also for bettering the cooking process to help make the water safer to consume.

For more information, go to



ScumBot was designed to fight the common problem of eutrophication, where an excessive amount of nutrients and demand for biological oxygen depletes resources in an ecosystem, therefore killing off life in the area

LostExhaust is a convenient carpooling solution for schools and businesses. LostExhaust takes advantage of the condensed living spaces of urban areas: that everyone is going to and from the same place. By connecting people with those who live near them and drive a similar route everyday, carpooling becomes a simple way to save time and fuel while helping the environment by reducing carbon emissions. Here is what the user interface looks like: 


To learn more about LostExhaust, contact the Catlin Gabel InventTeam via this link.

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