NOTE: When testing the webpage the credentials are: User: TreeHack, Pass:toor


Inspiration and Introduction

Let's make public nature, private interest. We will be tackling the main problem that people don’t get involved in public problems. Individualism has become a trend, Climate change puts us on personal goals, like “don’t waste water” or “recycling”. A single person, it's part of a family and it's part of a community, small actions, individual actions do bigger changes for all of us.

Many natural disasters could happen any time, Coronavirus showed us the importance of staying at home, and also made us see the importance of taking care of the planet and others. We know the economy is not well sustained at this time. So this is where our project stands, taking care of the planet with just actions. Just donating, creating devices, or taking care of a tree, wil help everybody go back into their normal life. We want you to stay at home, but planet earth is our home, we need to take care of the home we want to get back to. Donations will help ONGs to have more resources to take care of the planet, our devices will empower those actions through technology, and you will get rewarded with things you can use.

NGO associations work hard planting trees, but those actions are not enough due to natural disasters and lack of track after planting a tree. This may help to dimension the size of the problem:

Many of the trees planted do not survive due to the wild fires. Wildfires happened during dry seasons, and it’s one of the worst natural disasters. Wildfires leave natural destruction and material lost. During this catastrophic event, we lost trees and homes for humans and animals.

According to the bbc The Northern California wildfire that killed dozens of people and burned down the town of Paradise was the world's costliest single natural disaster in 2018.

The reinsurance giant said the CampFire in November caused overall losses of $16.5 billion. The company said some $12.5 billion in losses were insured. Over 50000 people were displaced from their homes.

Also National Geographic mentioned “Wildfires can burn millions of acres of land at rapid speeds and can consume everything—trees, homes, even humans—in their paths. These rolling flames travel up to 14 miles an hour, which converts to about a four-minute mile pace, and can overtake the average human in minutes.”

National Geographic Article, said that California wildfires increase 3 degrees fahrenheit average temperature of the area. California is getting hotter since then, increasing the probability of longer and more dangerous dry seasons. Overall the fire season has lengthened by 75 days over the past decades, according to CalFire.

Over time, California has lost many acres of woods, trees and bushes, but also human houses have been lost. Some of them still have consequences, wildfires also burned electric, gas, and water infrastructure. that left 2 million californians in the dark due to blackouts, according to Business insider.

Last year in Australia 27.2 million acres were burned and 33 people died in this event. New South Wales (NSW), fire has affected more than five million hectares, destroying more than 2,000 houses and forcing thousands to seek shelter elsewhere.

In Australia Wildfires were one of the biggest natural disasters last year, causing problems still after the flames stopped burning, people and animals died. In just this area this natural disaster is worth losses of over 27 million USD, and more than 25 thousand koalas died

NASA showed a video of how Wildfires in Australia created already impactful climate changes in South America. Scientists still don't know the magnitude of the consequences of this disaster, and the problem still there, we don't know if another wildfire will take place. We didn’t start the fire, but we can light up the flame of hope.

Australia wildfire damages and losses to exceed $110 billion, AccuWeather estimates. ten of thousand people were displaced from their homes, 2500 buildings and 1800 homes were destroyed.

Both disasters are worth millions of dollars and the consequences were worst, we didn't start the fire, but the planet has burned to ashes.

What if there is a device able to protect trees all around your town, parks, mangroves and more? Just don't stop there, you will get rewarded with points that you will be able to exchange for different things, from digital rewards to huge trip experiences and merchandise.

Solution and What it does

We developed an IoT Enabled Forest Fire Detection and Early Warning System, we used that sensor data to provide analytics into a Gamified progressive webapp with a Ranking and reward system. In it, the user competes with other users from around the world to gather points in order to become the TREE FORCE! While at the same time our system will aid in preventing Forest Fires with our sensor capabilities, and our early notification system.

For that they will employ our IoT modules that track Soil Moisture and Temperature, Ambient humidity and temperature, and perhaps the most important one in the Gas Sensor, which is the one utilized in providing the notifications and analytics to combat Forest Fires.

Users will login into the platform and they will be able to see the records of their tree. Sensor data, and also if there is fire at the tree or near the tree. In addition users will be able to see other user's trees.

They will also earn points for their actions so they can exchange it for items or rewards. This is a gamification system in which you compete with people around you and all over the world for bigger prizes. You can win points by doing three things;

  • Donate to the most important institutions that save the trees or the environment,

  • Send evidence to our social networks of any action where you are saving the environment (mainly the trees), by uploading a picture or video of those actions or any other evidence.

  • Support us by buying more devices so you can adopt more trees!

How we built it

This is the connection diagram of the system:

In summary we are using our IoT devices to gather data via 4 sensors, relaying that data using CloudMqtt to a Node Red application running in a virtual machine, that one to relay that info to a Dynamodb database. All this so our Progressive webapp can use it. On the other side we have a progressive webapp developed in React that includes mainly a login screen, a dashboard platform that reads all the data from the Dynamodb-sensor, and a reward application system and gamified dashboard. Using SNS and a lot of AWS lambdas we managed to include several features such as, a Fire alert system notification based on the analytics provided by Node-RED and the database, and a gamified dashboard and reward system. The webapp is hosted on an S3 bucket and Amazon Cloudfront.

Now, step by step

1.- Using a temperature/humidity, soil moisture and soil temperature sensors, we used a Particle Argon dev board with to obtain sensor data every 5 secs. The device may migrate to Sigfox or Lora in a future implementation.

We connected the sensors like so:

Then we developed and uploaded the code through the particle cloud.

Here is a video of the results and process (click on the image!):


2.- We 3D printed a case:

The next video apart from showing the building process offers substantial evidence that EVERYTHING was done DURING the hackathon.

(click on the link again!):


3. Developed a Node Red Flow to concentrate all the services and relay the information to the dynamo db database.

IoT modules DynamoDB:

Here is a video of that also (with more date evidence):


4.- With that done now it's time to create the webapp

The platform was made using the ReactJS framework:

Here is an example of how I created the build version of the webpage

Landing page to Login to obtain more information of this kind of things in NatGeo's free library.

Log in Screen (User: TreeHack, Pass:toor)

Fully Functional Dashboard with real time sensor data:

Full Worldwide dashboard with out top 5 users and points system:

Fully integrated as a Progressive Web App for mobile devices:

5.- Create features using lambdas (this to create the early fire detection system)

Our Lambda executing the fire detection code:

6.- Join and consolidate everything

See the submission video to check on everything!

Important information

Because it is primarily an IoT enabled device, some of the features like the notifications and sensor analytics are not possible to test remotely without fabricating your own.

Having said that, the webpage is fully operational and we are up for a Zoom test! If you are a judge, feel free to contact us and we will perform a live demo, including devices ON THE SPOT!

You can find all of our code including the devices' code, on our github:

Challenges we ran into

Our first problem began even before the hackathon started, the computer of one of our coders crashed down and he had to find another computer, which later that day he had to format. That problem slowed us down for the whole hackathon. The idea was a challenge, we hadno clue at all of what to do, at first, until we started talking with National Geographic mentors, the idea began to start taking shape. Our first idea was a reward system with coupons for youth people. But that idea wasn’t enough.

We decided we wanted to createan IoT device, because it is the forte of some of our teammates. So we started working on a tree sensor but our 3D printer was not calibrated, once we wanted to use it. We had to do a small service to the printer to make it work properly.

Once we were on the line we had trouble addressing the product to the right target. And we lost track trying to fit in every challenge, so we went back to the first idea and decided to focus only on the National Geographic Challenge.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

After finishing the project, we had the opportunity to test it, and play a little bit with the device before the deadline. We realized that this device can make random people form communities working together for a better world. Save the world and stay at home. We conclude that building empathy for the planet will include greater awareness for individual action. After finishing the prototype, the installation only took us about 10 minutes tops, which is a huge value proposition that puts us, talking about smart devices, on par with the time it takes to configure an Amazon Echo device or a Google home. And it was quite fun to make and to play with it!

What we learned and What's next for Tree force Monitor.

We learned that climate change actions are a huge challenge. We learned the value of small actions in your own home or town can do big changes and problably the only way to get to this is by creating community, and with young people.

I would consider the product finished as we only need a little of additional touches in the industrial engineering side of things for it to be a commercial product. And also a bit on the look and feel aspect. This one has the potential of becoming a commercially available option regarding Smart cities as big part of several counties is forest and we have to take that into consideration and look at the statistics and forest fires that went right into the city as previously shown. IoT can have and impact not only on the main Urban ecosystem but on the outskirts too.


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