Drone Inspector launched @ ETH San Francisco Hackathon

A week ago our team took part in ETH San Francisco Hackathon — world’s largest Ethereum Hackathon!

We decided to build a new service for our company and launch it right at the hackathon. Greet Drone Inspector!

Inspiration

I come from an Industrial city and in recent years, the problem of air pollution is becoming more and more relevant as the city is often covered in smog.

Recently city authorities have installed 9 stationary air quality sensors, but there are a few problems with those.

  1. The sensors cost 5,000 USD and it is simply not viable to install them on every corner of the city to get diverse data.
  2. The sensors need to be checked and calibrated regularly which can be hard since they are often installed in hard-to-reach areas.

What did we build?

The project that we built allows you to connect a flying drone with a sensor remotely so that civil oversight can identify the need to replace stationary sensors in the field, without having to regularly send an engineer on site. This allows reducing maintenance costs significantly!

And as oftentimes these sensors are installed in hard-to-reach areas Drone Inspector allows to minimize the risks for human engineers.

We show how you can create a drone base that will be controlled by an Ethereum computer and solve a problem of trust in the sensor network.

What does it do?

Drone Inspector goes through the following steps

1. Transfer control over an autonomous drone base to an Ethereum computer

2. Specify which external owned accounts are authorized to launch missions on a drone base

3. Upload the mission GPS reference points to IPFS

4. Send a transaction to create a mission smart contract using the hash from the last step

Here we see a major benefit of Ethereum as it allows to combine technical and economic data in a single transaction. Thus we are creating a liability of a machine to the human.

5. The drone takes off to deliver a mission from IPFS

6. When the drone returns, it publishes environmental analysis data to IPFS

Therefore, this service allows performing maintenance of stationary air pollution sensors in a more efficient, fast and safe way!

Check out our GitHub to see the code!