Internet of Things Disaster Relief and Recovery Hackathon LIVE BLOG

The Spring 2014 Internet of Things Code-for-Good event, sponsored by Georgia Tech's CERCS, Intel, and UNICEF, has attracted about 30 students to spend their Saturday & Sunday working to help those in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Intel has sent two great engineers -- Anil Keshavamurthy and Piotr Kwidzinski -- to help students get to work with the Galileo hardware and the IoT Toolkit for uploading data to the cloud.

Helping A Hurting World

The UNICEF directorate for Innovation has been a great motivator, pointing the students towards the First 72 Hours innovation challenge. There were a lot of great discussions among the students after Julio Dantas called in from Chile to get them started first thing in the morning. They've formed 4 teams, as follows:

  • Team Data Mule: Using ad hoc wireless networking and embedded devices in ponchos/vests for the first responders to offer an infrastructure for sharing information between different relief sites.
  • Team "Are We Home Yet?": Focusing on people once they've reached a shelter, they're developing a game/handheld to help assess possible mental & physical issues after the immediate medical triage.
  • Team Tricorder: Exploiting the IoT Toolkit's ability to upload sensor data into the cloud, this team is working with a wide variety of available sensors to try to support a very modular approach to monitoring and sharing data back to the central office.
  • Team Peer-map: In areas after a catastrophic flood, avalanche, or volcanic flow, the existing maps may not be sufficient to help navigate. So teams of people can share current positions in a peer-to-peer way to help people find the path to safety faster.

We've also had Michael McCool from Intel call in from Japan to hear what sorts of innovations, challenges, and opportunities the students have found. Watch for video and picture updates! You can also look for more content and updates over the HackerLeague website for our event.

Julio Dantas calling in to talk to the students.


Submitted by mw70 on

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Submitted by mw70 on

Here are two of team Tricorder out in the dark, trying to get the GPS working on the Galileo board. Note the looooooong cable on the GPS sensor.

Submitted by mw70 on

We secured all of the projects overnight by having everyone place their sensors into a quadrant of the table and then wheeling it into a lockable room. Come 9:00AM, it was still a little lonely, but it's a good view of all the progress from Saturday!

Submitted by mw70 on

Stuart Campo from UNICEF called in from his office in Juba, South Sudan in order to talk to each of the teams about their current progress and give them helpful suggestions. It was a great conversation, and it really impressed everyone that he was willing to call in from a war zone to hear about our hackathon!

Submitted by mw70 on

All 4 teams are moving into the home stretch.

  • Team Data Mule (AKA Team Data Ameoba for how they keep absorbing people) are getting close.
  • Team Tricorder found a whole new box of sensors to try.
  • Team Peer-Map at work with their "route to safety compass"
  • Team "Are We Home Yet" -- finally back from the laser cutter, and ready to start integrating their bread board prototype into a hard shell.