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11 year olds using LEGO, Sahana Software, and NASA sensors

Born2Build is a group of enthusiastic 11year olds competing in a First LEGO League Robotics competition. The 2013 topic is “Nature’s Fury” – “children ages 9 to 16 from over 70 countries will explore the awe-inspiring storms, quakes, waves and more that we call natural disasters. Teams will discover what can be done when intense natural events meet the places people live, work, and play.”

Description of their challenge - One of the biggest challenges disaster relief teams face is finding and keeping track of people. When a natural disaster strikes, the rescue workers face many challenges. The landscape of the location can change. Access to the area may be limited. Also, the rescue workers may have a hard time figuring out where to go and deploy resources.The first hour after a disaster strikes is called the “golden hour”. The chances of surviving is highest during this hour. The three tools that we use are Sahana, Lidar and FINDER, a NASA heartbeat sensor. Sahana is a database made in Sri Lanka. A few years ago google interns made an improved version Sahana. Finder is an system that can find peoples heart rate , it can sense the slightest movement. Finder can find heartbeats up to 30 feet away and 20 feet under rubble. Lidar is a scanner that identifies the area before the natural disaster and then scans it after to see how the landscape has changed. We thought about helping all the relief workers in communicating with each other. In our solution we have combined NASA’s heartbeat sensor, Sahana Software and Lidar to make a system where when a person is found, an biometric scan is taken and the persons identity is fed into the system. This solution increases the chance of finding victims during the “Golden Hour”. Once the information is gathered our solution creates a quick way to notify the database of an person’s status after a natural disaster. We consulted with many sources. We met an architect named Vijay, who talked to us about how buildings are made to deal with natural disasters. We also went to a “Be Prepared” event in downtown Portland which informed us on disaster preparation. We visited an fire station and they showed us all their gear and vehicles and emergency communication devices.

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