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Sensol Modular Crosswalk project selected for Amazon Catalyst Fellowship

In July, seven new teams were selected as Amazon Catalyst Fellows. The teams are a mix of UW faculty, students, and staff from eleven departments across campus. Each team received funding to pursue a big idea focused on one of this round’s themes: Computational Social Science or Urban Transportation. One winning team features CBE students, Janie Bube, Graduate Student, Landscape Architecture and Emma Petersen, Graduate Student, Landscape Architecture.

Janie Bube and Emma Petersen pose with Sensol Modular Crosswalk sign

Summary: An off-the-grid LED and solar crosswalk that lights up directly under the pedestrian as they cross to increase awareness and commuter cooperation.

Description: Crossing a street is often a fraught affair for a pedestrian when there is no traffic light, even when they are at a crosswalk. Will drivers see them? And even if they do, will they stop? A cross-disciplinary team of graduates and undergraduates is designing and building the SENSOL Modular Crosswalk, a hybrid solar and LED crosswalk. The hybrid system will power luminaires embedded in a temporary, modular speed bump like structure. This will improve safety and visibility without permanently changing roadways. The SENSOL crosswalks will be triggered when feet, wheelchairs, or bicycles pass over them, illuminating their exact location, visible at both a distance and up close by cars, bicycles, buses, and other pedestrians.

sensol crosswalk diagram

Team Members

  • Janie Bube, Graduate Student, UW Department of Landscape Architecture
  • Emma Petersen, Graduate Student, UW Department of Landscape Architecture
  • Delvin Higgins, Undergraduate Student, UW Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering
  • Danny Wadhwani, Undergraduate Student, UW Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Emily Whelan, Undergraduate Student, UW Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Colton Brailsford, Undergraduate Student, UW Department of Community, Environment & Planning