Inspiration

Imagine you broke your EpiPen but you need it immediately for an allergic reaction. Imagine being lost in the forest with cut wounds and bleeding from a fall but have no first aid kit. How will you take care of your health without nearby hospitals or pharmacies? Well good thing for you, we have MediFly!! MediFly is inspired by how emergency vehicles such as ambulances take too long to get to the person in need of aid because of other cars on the road and traffic. Every second spent waiting is risking someone's life. So in order to combat that issue, we use drones as the first emergency responders to send medicine to save people's lives or keep them in a stable condition before human responders arrive.

What it does

MediFly allows the user to request for emergency help or medication such as an Epipen and Epinephrine. First you download the MediFly app and create a personal account. Then you can log into your account and use the features when necessary. If you are in an emergency, press the "EMERGENCY" button and a list of common medication options will appear for the person to pick from. There is also an option to search for your needed medication. Once a choice is selected, the local hospital will see the request and send a drone to deliver the medication to the person. Human first responders will also be called. The drone will have a GPS tracker and a GPS location of the person it needs to send the medication to. When the drone is within close distance to the person, a message is sent to tell them to go outside to where the drone can see the person. The camera will use facial recognition to confirm the person is indeed the registered user who ordered the medication. This level of security is important to ensure that the medication is delivered to the correct person. When the person is confirmed, the medication holding compartment lid is opened so the person can take their medication.

How we built it

On the software side, the front end of the app was made with react coded in Javascript, and the back end was made with Django in Python. The text messages work through Twilio. Twilio is used to tell the user that the drone is nearby with the medication ready to hand over. It sends a message telling the person to go outdoors where the drone will be able to find the user. On the hardware side, there are many different components that make up the drone. There are four motors, four propeller blades, a electronic speed controller, a flight controller, and 3D printed parts such as the camera mount, medication box holder, and some components of the drone frame. Besides this there is also a Raspberry Pi SBC attached to the drone for controlling the on-board systems such as the door to unload the cargo bay and stream the video to a server to process for the face recognition algorithm.

Challenges we ran into

Building the drone from scratch was a lot harder than we anticipated. There was a lot of setting up that needed to be done for the hardware and the building aspect was not easy. It consisted of a lot of taking apart, rebuilding, soldering, cutting, hot gluing, and rebuilding.

Some of the video streaming systems did not work well at first, due to the CORS blocking the requests, given that we were using two different computers to run two different servers.

Traditional geolocation techniques often take too long - as such, we needed to build a scheme to cache a user's location before they decided to send a request to prevent lag. Additionally, the number of pages required to build, stylize, and connect together made building the site a notable challenge of scale.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are extremely proud of the way the drone works and how it's able to move at quick, steady speeds while carrying the medication compartment and battery. On the software side, we are super proud of the facial recognition code and how it's able to tell the difference between different peoples' faces. The front and back end of the website/app is also really well done. We first made the front end UI design on Figma and then implemented the design on our final website.

What we learned

For software we learned how to use React, as well as various user authorization and authentication techniques. We also learned how to use Django. We learnt how to build an accurate, efficient and resilient face detection recognition and tracking system to make sure the package is always delivered to the correct person. We experimented with and learned various ways to stream real-time video over a network, also over longer ranges for the drone. For hardware we learned how to set up and construct a drone from scratch!

What's next for MediFly

In the future we hope to add a GPS tracker to the drone so that the person who orders the medication can see where the drone is on its path. We would also add Twilio text messages so that when the drone is within a close radius to the user, it will send a message notifying the person to go outside and wait for the drone to deliver the medication.

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