When it comes to the natural disasters, collecting as much data accurately in a timely manner is extremely critical. Today, one of the cheapest stream sensors to analyze a river's(or creek) water level costs $3000 each. Finding a way to gather wider information with a device which costs less than $5, would be tremendous success.
What it does
It allows a person to accomplish a specified job where human input is necessary or useful, with literally minimal effort. And, it also provides a real-time, interactive, and friendly user interface by placing these data sources from various places onto Google Maps.
How I built it
To develop a proof-of-concept prototype, I benefited from Amazon's Dash Button by writing a sniffing program with Ted Benson's method. That method is, overtime the button has been pushed, Dash Button boots, connects to wifi, performs what it programmed to do, and shut off, due to energy saving purposes. By writing Python code that sniffs the network whether the Dash Button is activated or not. If so, I'm running my PHP code on the web which updates the my database, and records the details of that Dash Button(e.g. location, time, etc.).
To gather and monitor all these information, I developed a web page which configures Google Maps, and locate all Dash Button records on it by retrieving from postgresql. To increase the real-time effect, and avoid the need of refreshing the page to be able to see the new Dash Button records, I implemented probing which checks if there is any change on the db. If so, automatically updates the page without refreshing it.
Challenges I ran into
My first time project experience with Mac, Python, Dash Button, and Google Maps. A lot of things went wrong.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Being awake and work 3 days in a row.
What I learned
There are enormous amount of possibilities in IoT. Dash button is a lot more faster and well-equipped than I thought it would be. If this kind of hardware can be bought for $5 right now, in just a couple of years, IoT will be in every aspect of our lives.
What's next for Combining IoT with Crowdsourcing in Disaster Response
Next step is to actually reprogram the Dash Button by deleting the firmware, implementing TCP/IP stack and utilizing WICED wifi module directly.