Frida

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Frida is an end-to-end solution with a mobile AI-enabled application called Frida, and an IoT device called fridaSOS, which can be installed in schools and universities. The solution uses built-in AI functions to provide earthquake preparation, guide people through drills, predict the magnitude of earthquakes based on sensor data, identify the best escape routes during earthquakes, and detect people trapped in damaged classrooms. It is a first-of-a-kind complete solution for providing data collection, monitoring, notifications, and guidance before, during, and after a disaster.

Born and raised in Quito, Ecuador, Sebastian Alvarado experienced several earthquakes growing up – both at home and in school. “The one in my school was messier,” the intern Watson Studio software developer said. “There were so many people. Teachers were worried about students, and everyone started running everywhere.” These childhood experiences drew Alvarado to the 2018 Global Call for Code Challenge and inspired the project “Frida.”

This end-to-end solution predicts the magnitude of earthquakes based on sensor data and identifies the best escape routes and detects people trapped in damaged classrooms. “Frida mitigates natural disasters by combining emergency data with AI technology using IBM IoT platform, Watson Studio, and Watson Services,” said Lin Ju, Watson Studio senior development manager at IBM Canada Lab who led the team. “For our proof of concept, we focused on earthquakes in schools, but this solution can be applied to other areas.”

Why should I contribute?

Our team is confident that these IBM technologies allow us to build a smarter and safer future,” Ju said. “The Call for Code Global initiative is a great opportunity to show the world that our developers can use the latest AI technology to have a real impact on society.”

What technology problem will I help solve?

“Frida mitigates natural disasters by combining emergency data with AI technology using IBM IoT platform, Watson Studio, and Watson Services,” said Lin Ju, Watson Studio senior development manager at IBM Canada Lab who led the team. “For our proof of concept, we focused on earthquakes in schools, but this solution can be applied to other areas.”

Frida consists of two offerings – a mobile AI-enabled application built through IBM Watson Studio and an IoT device with a Gyroscope sensor, a heat sensor, and a camera. Between the two offerings is the IBM Cloud, explained team member Simar Singh, a Watson Studio software developer.

“The IoT device streams data to the IBM Cloud, and Watson Studio uses that data and scores the model to predict if there’s an earthquake and its magnitude,” Singh said. “Later it’s pushed out to the app as an alert.” To predict the earthquake’s magnitude, Frida leverages historical data from the U.S. Geological Survey and uses it to train deep learning models. These models are tested using the close-to-real-time data from the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology.

How will Frida help my community?

Alvarado is especially eager to bring the technology back home. Thinking back to an earthquake that hit Ecuador two years ago, he realizes that awareness of earthquakes is key. “They didn’t know when [the earthquake] was going to come, and there were a lot of aftershocks,” he said. “If you could have told them about the aftershocks and to leave where they were, they could have been saved.”