Ferienakademie 2016: Drones taking over Sarntal
Ferienakademie is a voluntary holiday academy organized by three Universities from southern Germany: Freie Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Technical University of Munich (TUM) and University of Stuttgart. It takes place in Sarntal, which is a beautiful high valley near to Bozen in Italy.
We built a system which can help workers in extreme environments to minimize risks and to identify hazards earlier. Our system creates a local peer-to-peer mesh-network which ca transfer sensor data from so-called “emergency beacons”. These beacons can be deployed by specially-equiped workers, or from a drone. This can help to collect important environmental data in hazardous environments. Sensors can measure radioactivity, heat, oxygen levels and other essential values.
The autonomous drone is carrying an arduino-board which can be remote-controlled. The parachute inflates and carries our sensor equipment safely to the ground. The drone itself is also part of the mesh-network which helps to transfer local sensor-data over larger distances.
We tested our system in the beautiful mountains of Sarntal.
Working on the styrofoam protection case for our sensor-equipment to minimize impacts when dropped with the parachute:
The second part of our project was to develop an intelligent suit that helps workers to navigate in dangerous environments. The suite communicates with out mesh-network and can detect dangerous emergency beacons nearby. This helps workers to avoid dangerous places and find another path instead.
After all it was a wonderful time in Sarntal! It was great to see how much our team could realize in this short period of time – speaking of hiking achievements, hard- and software development.
Ferienakademie is not only work – but also fun, sun, eating and hiking! For example enjoying an afternoon-beer with a local construction worker:
The whole team in front of our hotel: