February 19, 2015
The full consequences of radioactive leaks can take years, sometimes decades, to fully manifest in our foods, fish, and produce that people eat every day. Living in a post-nuclear world means that we have to deal with both the literal and figurative fallout from disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima.
It becomes particularly problematic when you consider the consumer products we receive that are manufactured and stored in warehouses all over the world. That is, there’s not really been a way to detect harmful levels of radiation short of getting your own Geiger counter – which are a bit expensive.
Radium set out to change this status quo, recently starting a Kickstarter campaign to fund their small, simple, affordable, and developer friendly next-gen Geiger counter. Radium’s technology employs a sensitive Geiger-Muller pancake tube to detect hazards from alpha and beta radiation all the way to gamma and X-rays.
It’s something that hits very close to home for founder Sergey Vladimirov, a software engineer, who grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia at the height of the Chernobyl meltdown.
“I grew up using a dosimeter just going to the market to buy meat and berries. Later, when I moved to Europe, it seemed like nobody knew about or didn’t want to know about the dangers of radiation. But then Fukushima happened. The scale of that catastrophe is still unknown,” says Vladimirov.
His response to this was to engineer a device that could be used for mass-market and everyday people alike while providing new opportunities for hackers, developers, and scientists to innovate. The device features a Cortex M0 processor with 2.4Ghz RF part integrated that allows Bluetooth Low Energy connection to transfer data to smart devices, PCs, and Macs, while establishing a platform for mobile applications involving geo-tagging, data logging, and connection with online radiation databases.
All told, Vladimirov is seeking 100,000 euro to fund the next stage of development for Radium. With 7,606 euro already banked, he’s got a bit of ground to cover. Thankfully there’s still 29 days left to hit his goal.
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