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Kits Initiative

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Public Lab works to "level the data playing field,” making it possible for people to issue rigorously collected, high-quality, local environmental datasets for use alongside government data for verification and advocacy. We do this by building curriculum, hardware, and software; providing space for research and development; and bringing tools to maturity, making them field ready. The Kits Initiative is part of this effort.

The Kits Initiative creates, assembles, and distributes kits from the open research designs of the Public Lab community to foster and develop the reach of open, accessible science, by placing tools in the hands of those that need them. Revenue from the kits program directly supports the Public Lab nonprofit.

The Kits Initiative helps distribute our community's kits around the world through the Public Lab Store:

Visit the Public Lab Store here »

Schools, teachers, and institutions can contact for details on reduced shipping costs and bulk orders.


The main goal of the program is to support the scaling up of development and production of kits to enable thousands more people to help shape these technologies and produce their own environmental data.

Community Kits

Our Community Kits program is designed to support the creation of new tools, kits and resources by inviting designers, developers, researchers, tinkerers, community organizers, inventors (and anyone else who is interested) to consider working with the Public Lab Kits Initiative to develop, produce and distribute your Open Source research tools!

Over the next few months we'll be working with a handful of people to source new affordable, DIY, open source environmental monitoring kits in our store: expanding resources and opportunities to help people get involved with community science.

We have built the infrastructure to help connect environmental research kits to communities who need them, and we'd love to partner with you to help put tools in the hands of even more people.

Read more about our Community Kits program here

Read what you need to participate here

Working through the open process allows for helpful feedback, quick design iteration, and sharing of ideas. Additionally, incubating with us provides access to the Public Lab brand, customer base, and production/distribution infrastructure. Public Lab Kits Initiative staff provide necessary support for kit distribution, including promotion of the tool in our online store, organizing payments, and shipping.

Questions about Community Kits

Title Author Updated Likes
What do I need to get started with the Community Kits program? @warren 3 months ago
What are design guidelines or constraints we aspire to at Public Lab? @warren 3 months ago

Ask a question  or help answer future questions

Through our hosting program, we seek to help develop new and novel kits, guides, and curriculum to engage over 10,000 participants in production of their own civic data. In doing so, we seek to add to a growing catalog of innovative tools, with an ever-broadening reach and accessibility.

General Kits Questions

About sourcing, troubleshooting, etc!

Title Author Updated Likes
buying Infragram filter pack in UK @ruya 4 days ago
What is "immersion oil" for microscopes? @warren 8 days ago
Can these filter packages be adapted to Raspberry Pi cameras? @sjmanosalvas 28 days ago
What are materials we could include in a Kite Making Materials Pack? @warren about 1 month ago
What are some options for copper materials to make a copper plate test kit? @warren 3 months ago
Does anyone know if a sensor lending library exists? @Zengirl2 3 months ago
What are design guidelines or constraints we aspire to at Public Lab? @warren 3 months ago
How big is the filter in the infragram DIY filter pack? @robotfarms 4 months ago
Does anyone know where I can get a new usb connector for my spectrometer 3.0 ? @programmer1200 5 months ago
What are good sources of cheap bulk giant mylar balloons? @warren 5 months ago
Show 3 more
How to build an efficient workflow for small-scale kit manufacturing? @kgradow1 5 months ago
Where can we bulk purchase new carbon fiber mapping poles? @warren 7 months ago
Assembly completed but the camera doesn't work. @1987123 8 months ago

Ask a question  or help answer future questions


Prototyping kits

We're increasingly sending out packs of materials and supplies for prototyping, to help support the development of new techniques for monitoring environmental problems. We call these Prototyping Kits and they come with a list of challenges and problems to solve.

Read more about Prototyping Kits


Since 2012 Public Lab has been developing low cost, open source and user-modifiable kits. By providing low cost accessible kits to the public, we seek to support a growing number of communities in creating a collaborative network of practitioners generating knowledge and data about environmental health. Since 2013 Public Lab kits have been shipped to over 71 different countries and connected thousands of community members.

Contact us

The Public Lab Kits Initiative is a part of the Public Lab Nonprofit which distributes open hardware kits to support the Public Lab community. The Kits Initiative is based out of Public Lab's Providence, Rhode Island office.

To reach the Kits Initiative team, email For help with orders placed, please email or call us between 9am and 5pm EST at 503-902-5874

Kits resources

In the spirit of open source, here are a lot of the docs and files we use for the everyday running of the Kits initiative:

kits special kits-initiative