Baruch College Campus High School InvenTeam

New York, NY
Semi-Automatic Cleaning Device for NYC Subway Tracks

The Baruch College Campus High School InvenTeam invented a detachable, semi-automatic cleaning device that picks up debris from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s subway tracks in New York City to prevent subterranean fires and train delays. The device attaches to an existing flat bed car of a work train. The device is semi-automatic using light and ultrasonic sensors, plus four pneumatic cylinders. The light sensors work in conjunction with the ultrasonic sensors to automatically turn the cleaning device on and off when it either senses the light of the approaching station, or senses storage has reached full capacity. The attachment holds up to 40 gallons of debris and can run 5-10 times more frequently than the current cleaning device, reducing manual labor by 20%. The current prototype cost approximately $1,000 to build and produces a suction power of 200 air watts using a 6.5 horsepower motor.

Watch their 2015 EurekaFest Video


May 29, 2015

April 25, 2015

April has certainly been a long month for us. Despite Spring Break, we still had to work hard with the upcoming deadline. First and foremost, we are finally on our last prototype! Before that, we encountered many obstacles. Some of them include not knowing how to assemble the pneumatic cylinders, the late arrival of the plexiglass, and difficulty creating the frame for the prototype. Fortunately, with the help of our enthusiastic mentors, we were able to figure out how the pneumatics work, and even attached it to our penultimate prototype to see if it would work.

March 25, 2015

February 27, 2015

Last month was a rather stressful month for us but this month we became a lot more productive. Our first prototype, which was built using a 3D printer, was able to run successfully. Also, we built a second prototype, this time using plexiglass. The beauty of using plexiglass is that it is transparent; therefore, you can see the trash being vacuumed up. The team is currently working on the larger prototype. Just recently, we attached aluminum extrusions using right angle connectors. The aluminum extrusions will serve as the frame for our storage space. 

December 23, 2014

November 25, 2014

November has been a month of hands-on preparation for us.

As mentioned before, we had obtained a vacuum cleaner for us to experiment with.  Firstly, it was disassembled in order for us to understand the technology behind it. We had discovered how the fan, motor, and filter worked in conjunction with one another. Thanks to this, our understanding has increased.

October 30, 2014

We focused on two aspects of our project in October: fundraising and recruiting mentors.