top of page


Murrelet Innovation aims to connect people and planet focused organizations to cutting-edge technological advancements in product development. We help organizations, both big and small, tackle tough sustainability and equity problems through rapid prototyping, green supply chain consulting, and technology-based R&D.

Bringing Sustainable Toys to Production

Lil' Labmates is a baby toy company providing science-themed, Montessori-style toys, designed for your baby’s first year. They aim to make "high quality toys, backed by child development research, and made with sustainable materials and processes to help even the tiniest scientists explore their new world".


Lil' Labmates came to us looking for our expertise in materials selection and in finding sustainable manufacturer partners. Based on their criteria centered on both the safety of the material for children as well as the sustainability of the end product we were able to connect them with various manufacturing partners that are aligned with Lil' Labmates in their sustainability goals. We also provided material recommendations based on the equivalent carbon footprint of each material using life cycle analysis tools. 


Check out their website here:

Want to join our growing list of successful projects and satisfied clients?

Researcher handling Brown Treesnake

Credit: Dr. Staci Amburgey, UW


Credit: Dr Shane Siers, USDA

image (2).png

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center

Brown Treesnake Detection System

The Quantitative Conservation Lab at the University of Washington is attempting to assess the current population of brown treesnakes in Guam through the use of a variety of monitoring methods including camera traps and snake traps with mouse lures. The brown treesnake, native to Oceania, is an invasive species in Guam and is responsible for the eradication or decreased abundance of many of the island’s native birds, lizards, and mammals. Some of these species have the potential to be reintroduced to the island, but collection of information on brown treesnake populations is needed in order to model abundance and determine management and reintroduction strategies.


Currently, camera traps alone lack the ability for researchers to obtain individual identity, meaning that it’s difficult for researchers to track the movement of specific individuals and better estimate how many total animals there are in key areas. Some of the snakes have been tagged with Passive Infrared Transponders (PIT tags) that can be read with a low-frequency RFID reader. However, to read these tags, individuals must be hand captured, which requires costly and time-intensive night surveys. Additionally, many off-the-shelf readers can be quite costly and are often not suitable for the arboreal and highly agile behavior of the study species.


We have volunteered with researchers in the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (WACFWRU) to help build a better and cheaper PIT-tag reader for invasive brown treesnakes. We made use of the existing snake traps with mouse lures (retrofitted minnow traps), and added custom antennas to either end, operating at 134.2 kHz. With proper waterproofing, we have routed the antennas to a junction box housing RFID readers, an Arduino Nano, a real-time-clock, and an SD card writer. As snakes enter or investigate either end of the trap, the microcontroller will write the timestamps, device IDs, and specific PIT tag IDs to a microSD card. The system is currently powered by a 12V motorcycle battery seated in a waterproof box on the ground.


The system is currently being tested in Seattle for usability, reliability, ruggedness, and overall power consumption. We hope to work with WACFWRU to eventually deploy this technology on the island and make design improvements based on its operation. Future work will include decreasing the power consumption of the system, reducing the form factor size of the electronics, and making the operation and deployment of the system more manageable for those from a non-engineering background.

Photo Credits: Aadithya Prakash

Automated Penguin Weighing

The Center for Ecosystem Sentinels at the University of Washington conducts research on a Magellanic Penguin colony in Punta Tombo, Argentina. The Magellanic Penguin is known as a sentinel species, meaning that its health is closely tied to the health of the marine and terrestrial ecosystems it lives in.


The lab had built scales that the penguins would waddle over to travel to/from their nests. Using the collected weights, the lab was able to assess the relative food supply for the colony as well as track the health of specific penguins that had RFID tags in their feet.


We helped design, manufacture, and deploy 3 updated scales in the field, with improvements to battery life, data transmission, water-proofing, and data reliability. The 3 scales were able to collect roughly 200,000 penguins weights over the span of 6 months and are still being used to this date.


Photo Credits: Aadithya Prakash

Photo Credits: Aadithya Prakash

bottom of page