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Japan Open Source Technology

OpenRelief Project Launches Disaster Drone Project at LinuxCon Japan 30

An anonymous reader writes "We'll never forget last year's LinuxCon Japan conference, which took place shortly after the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March. As the country still reeled from the disaster, LinuxCon presenters discussed how open source software could contribute to disaster relief. One year later, a team of developers has returned to LinuxCon in Yokohama this week to announce OpenRelief, a new project aimed at building a low-cost, remote-controlled robotic plane to report damage in hard-to-reach, disaster stricken areas."
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OpenRelief Project Launches Disaster Drone Project at LinuxCon Japan

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  • so your taking like a 100 RC plane, sticking about 150$ worth of hardware in it, free software, batching it together with a under 1000$ price tag and taking it to a place where the people are still recovering from a disaster to pitch it

    I dont know if its brilliant or questionable

    • You probably missed this bit. "Shane Coughlan, a consultant based in Western Japan and a co-founder of OpenRelief says he took his inspiration for the project from that LinuxCon discussion last year."

      plus the chances of any earthquake are quite high in Japan because of their location on a fault, it may be of use to have these planes in reserve.
    • You'd better call the US navy.

      They're spending $28,000,000 to do the same thing.

      • by EdZ ( 755139 )
        The difference is paying for something that will probably work most of the time with a bit of fiddling occasionally, and something that can be put in a crate, bounced around on rough seas in wildly varying temperatures for a few months/years, then be pulled out by someone with a small pamphlet of basic instructions and still work.
    • First of all, OpenRelief is a design project where people donate their time, experience and money to help create open disaster relief solutions, and we make our designs available to everyone for free. We do this to try and solve serious problems with gathering information in disaster situations. The reasons vary between the project contributors, but they are all pretty clear cut. For example, I was involved in the Japanese disaster relief effort last year, and the problems encountered there directly motivat

  • Nice.

    But we really need these things to already be at the scene, or at least not half a world away in some warehouse.

    So what would you buy one of these for?


    • I have always wanted a drone that I could hand launch that would let me get an idea of what the roads are like ahead — I'm talking here about dirt roads, in BLM land. Something that would actually fly the route and check the roads FOR me wasn't even on my road map.

      • Using the robot plane for this type of thing should be relatively trivial. You would probably have to train the camera a little to improve fidelity of recognizing dirt roads, but especially after integration with OpenStreetMap, the basic functionality fits right what this OpenRelief technology can do.

    • by Gim Tom ( 716904 )
      There are disaster and emergency response groups all over the world that could easily afford something like this. There are also individuals that buy equipment that is far more expensive than this to support disaster relief efforts. I am aware of a number of Ham Radio organizations that have built custom trucks or RV's just for use in emergency communications. In my state, there is a project underway to equip hospitals in the state with on site ham radio equipment and with assigned and trained operators
      • Naturally we are very glad to work with and support these types of organizations. Put simply, helping with disaster relief is our objective. We want to refine our robot plane and sensors to ensure that relief workers can fill in their knowledge gaps more quickly and effectively than before.

    • It's a good question. OpenRelief is designing and testing technology to create a really good airframe solution with broad capabilities. It will be pretty cheap for anyone to source components at retail for around 1,000 USD and build their own unit. If a company decides to start production, it can set up a channel and build the technology at a much lower price due to supply chain savings. We are happy to have both types of stakeholder in our community.

      While OpenRelief is focused on disaster relief, you can a

  • To be a soothing presence to the victims of disaster, the drone should evoke calm and friendly feelings.
    The Japanese like their cute cats.
    My suggestion is a cross between Maru "the strangest cat on the planet"
    and "Orvillecopter" part cat, part rc helicopter.

    At last a useful cat

  • Hi all, and thanks for reading about OpenRelief. We are now in a six-month cycle of testing and improving the robot plane and related sensors, and aim to have a durable set of solutions published as schematics and code by December. The idea is to allow anyone, anywhere to make OpenRelief solutions using readily available technology.

    I thought it might be useful to share a little more information with you via this page. With that in mind please find some overview information below.

    A video overview of OpenReli

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