Witmer’s inspiration from the idea came from his many camping trips where he cooks over open fires. Even though he cooks outdoors, the smoke from the fire still burns his eyes and irritates his lungs, which made him realize that the negative side effects are way more intense for people cooking with open fires indoors. In fact, more than 2 million people die every year because of indoor air pollution. Witmer wanted to use the Prius technology to help improve the air quality for people living and cooking in small huts.
Using a solar panel that was stripped from a Prius, Deeplocal engineer Patrick Miller created ventilation system that can be adapted to different homes, climates, and cultures while still being inexpensive to manufacture. The system built by Miller used an expandable metal dryer tube and custom hood that fit inside a small plywood hut that they built. The team made it clear that the materials could be easily swapped for pieces that made more sense for different types of dwellings in developing countries. The goal is for the system to meet the needs of a culture, not change them.