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How visual vocabulary read by drones helped disaster victims


Call for Code’s Puerto Rico hackathon winner Pedro Cruz was unable to reach his grandmother after Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017. Using a drone to locate and communicate with her, he noticed hundreds of messages scrawled on the ground by those desperate for help.

For his winning idea, he created a visual vocabulary that could be displayed by disaster victims and read by drones using visual recognition technology. Reading the symbols, the drones would then relay vital information back to relief workers, potentially shortening the response time from days to hours.


What is Call for Code?

The Call for Code 2018 Challenge is a competition that asks developers to outthink natural disasters and build solutions that significantly improve the current state of natural disaster preparedness in order to reduce the disruptive impact on human lives, health, and wellbeing.

Learn more