Innovations

Drones for Good Award gets exciting entries from saving lives to crisis control

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Future of Gov

We had earlier written about Harnessing technology to improve the life of people, the UAE Drones for Good Award which had received huge response.

drone for good

 Thirty-nine contestants have made it to the semi-finals of the national, international and government levels at the UAE Drones for Good Award.

The entrants offer innovative solutions in the provision of services that benefit humanity, especially in areas such as disaster relief, public health, agriculture, environment, town planning, and logistics.

The successful entries to the semi-final stage have come from countries ranging from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Sudan to Australia, Germany, Canada, the US, UK, Spain, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, and Singapore.

Drone for Organ transport, landmine detection

A team from Spain have designed a drone that can transport organs for transplant from donor centres to the receiver efficiently and in short periods of time, thus keeping the organ alive and reducing chances of rejection. All the logistics process involving the donation and transplantation is remodelled; coordinating the communication between hospitals and creating a digital database to collect and organise all the data, streamlining the process and reducing costs and possible document losses. Our project would go a step further in the medical system, saving more lives.

A project that makes landmine detection not only efficient but also safe was also from spain. There are over 70 countries that have landmines buried in their soil, creating new victims to these deadly weapons every year. Current methods of landmine detection are slow and dangerous so we developed a method to detect mines from the air that doesn’t put people at risk.

Towing flood victims to develivering packages

Tomasz Marek Muszynski from Poland has combined observation, communication and rescue capabilities in one system to develop a drone that can detect drowning people, ensure their safety through wireless audio-video transmission system, and even help tow them to the coast at a speed controlled by a lifeguard.

Clinton Burchat from Australia has come up with a project that eliminates the need for a large yard for drones to make package deliveries.

“Current drone delivery methods require you to have a large yard. The delivery is usually done either by landing the drone in your yard or by dropping the package down on a string. Both these solutions pose danger to the recipient, including people, pets and children. The idea of my proposal is to not only to make drone delivery accurate by the millimetre but also to make it safer at the same time,” said Clinton.

Florian Seibel and his team’s Quantum project combines the advantages of a helicopter with that of a fixed-wing plane to create a drone that can fly longer, further and safer. According to Florian, due to its high payload capacity and the ability to travel more than 500km, the Quantum drone can be deployed in a number of areas such as agriculture, humanitarian aid, disaster relief and logistic purposes.

A team from Singapore has submitted a project to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a “built-in fail-safe” and “sense-and-avoid” functions, making it capable of delivering cargos efficiently and safely.

Mouza Ahmad Al Shemaili and his team, also from the UAE, have developed a multi-copter brand, Ultimate-UAV, which eliminates fog from the atmosphere in an eco-friendly way. “Our aim is to help drivers by reducing the dangers from low visibility on roads during foggy weather. In addition, the project will support civil aviation by helping avoid airport closures and flight delays, or flight manoeuvre above airports, which increases pollution,” said Mouza.

Khaled Abdelgawad from Saudi Arabia, whose project uses drones to map and track disaster zones to assist effective rapid response to crisis situation, said: “Our technology provides first responders with situational awareness, mapped damage, established target areas for disaster relief, effective communication with coordinated response plan, and aid in search and rescue efforts to identify survivors and recover the lost.”

The project submitted by Jussi Angesleva and his team from Germany uses drones to provide a bird’s-eye view of large architectural structures, which are difficult to appreciate at ground level. Explaining the way the drone project functions, Jussi said: “The flight path is predefined and autonomous, but the view that the audience gets is freely adjustable.”

Marco Urs Wuethrich from New Zealand has devised a drone that is capable of providing aerial support to coastguard rescue vessels searching for people or boats in distress situations.

The Flyability team from Switzerland has developed Gimball, a drone that can enter confined spaces and fly safely close to humans, proving to be very effective in rescue missions. “Our game-changing drone is capable of colliding with obstacles without losing its stability and, is protected by a rotating cage around, making it possible to fly very close to humans,” said Patrick Thevoz, one of the members of the Flayability team.

Alex Ramirez-Serrano from Canada has come up with a highly manoeuverable UAV that can help locate and rescue persons from buildings on fire, collapsed building, mines, or other urban and industrial entrapments.

While drones are feared as being threat to privacy and security, we are seeing UAVs with civil motive of helping make a difference to peoples lives. Govepreneurs can sense many a startup opportunity to create new projects or create a new market in this new Drone wave.

Rail Radar HotSpots Allows You to Plan Your Journey without Disruption.

One of my post on Rail Radar at Govperneur blog crossed 6000 pageviews . It was an unexpected but pleasant milestone. So i went back and reviewed the article. To my utter dismay i found that the Rail Radar project which was covered in the article has been closed down and link now redirects to the National Train Enquiry Service (NTES)  website of the Indian Railways (CRIS).  On further digging i found that the project which was lauched in partnership with Rail Yatri has been shelved in favour of a new interface (supposedly user friendly) developed by CRIS  in this article.

In that article i had shared that this project marks a major milestone in the digital governance highway the Indian railways is cruising in. With the closing of this project in favour of the new inhouse interface by CRIS the project has moved backwards.  However not to be left behind, Rail Yatri (Stelling Technologies) has created Rail Radar Hotspots. This site provides train movements as per scheduled timings (since CRIS is maintaining its monopoly of train movement data) and also highlights the hotspots which are likely disrupt your travel.

Rail Radar by Rail Yatri

RailRadar™ HotSpots is a live tracker of spots of significant events and incidents called as ‘HotSpots’ occurring across the country which has or has the potential of impacting train travel in India. This live tracker is shown on an interactive map and allows users to locate these HotSpots across the country. It also helps determine if any of the scheduled train has the potential of getting impacted by it.

The effects of these HotSpots vary in terms of severity. Some of the known after-effects which we have tracked are as follows –

  • Widespread cancellation of services (partial or fully)
  • Changes in time schedule or route schedule
  • Delays
  • Rush in trains, unavailability of seats, etc.
  • Accidents/Mishaps
  • Increase in crime.
  • Increased cost of travel

It is difficult to predict a complete list of events or incidents which can impact train travel. However, one can take clues from past events/incidents over the years which have resulted in train travel getting affected in adverse manner. Some of them are –

  • Accidents, Mishaps, Breakdowns
  • Engineering & Construction work and maintenance
  • Significant public gatherings
  • Weather, Natural Calamity, etc.
  • Man-made disruptions
  • Events which cannot be explained or be attributed to – but typically are outcome of Chaos Theory or Domino Effect.

Every year thousands of such reported across the nation which has resulted in significant impact on travel.

Over the last decade, train network and traffic in India have grown tremendously. Indian Railways expects this trend to continue over the next few decades. Also increasingly Indian Railways passengers today want to know more – beyond just ‘an’ ETA of ‘a’ train at ‘a’ station. As the volume and complexity of information increases – we believe that new methods of information dissemination (associated with Trains) will be required. RailRadar™ is one such attempt on that line. We believe that value of information/directions can greatly be enhanced when presented graphically rather than just plain text.

RailRadar™ HotSpots is one such representation of information dissemination mechanism associated with events which can significantly impact train travel in India.

How this affects us?

The larger public interest is affected as CRIS is trying to maintain its monopoly of train data. They should release it as API and allow for innovation. Many innovations are possible like this Wake up call System called Pyka.

The Government has embarked on a mission to promote Open Data and to bring more information into the public domain. Much of the information published there are just statistics. It will be game changer if government takes a proactive approach in releasing such data that are relevant to large section of the population day in and day out.

This my friends represents the challenge and opportunity for Govpreneurs. What other data can be released by the Government that can have a major impact in citizen friendly government. Share your comments.

Credits – FAQs at Rail Radar Hotspots

Coming Soon – An Insurance Agent in Every Village of India

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) has issued new guidelines allowing insurers to use licensed Common Service Centres (CSCs) as distribution networks in rural areas. Insurance companies can market certain categories of retail policies through a special-purpose vehicle with the help of a Rural Authorised Person (RAP), who, in turn, will act as an insurance agent.

The RAPs will have to undergo 20 hours of mandatory training and register on the Learning Management System website. The online examination of RAPs will be conducted by the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology, which is an autonomous scientific society of the government’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology.

The CSC model is an initiative of the National e-Governance Plan and will operate in rural areas without access to internet. The plan provides services like e-governance, education and utility payments and works on the public-private partnership model.

Read More at http://m.financialexpress.com/news/rural-blitz/1166753/

GovCloud – Maharashtra shows the way with MahaGov Cloud

Cloud Computing Government

Have you ever imagined a government acting like a commercial service provider. That too in the IT arena. Mahagov Cloud is such an offering by the state government of Maharashtra. The Mahagov Cloud offers a scalable Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (Saas) and other miscellaneous services on a clear rate chart.

Security concerns associated with cloud adoption was the limiting factor in government sector. Especially since the government applications are likely to have sensitive data a specialized offering dedicated to governments became the need of the hour. Mahagov Cloud becomes the first mover in the gCloud space and certainly others will follow suit.

Cloud Computing was the buzzword since 2010 and adoption in companies have proved to reduce costs, increase efficiency and over the past two years the security concerns that always dominated the discussion on adoption of cloud computing services have been largely addressed. A cloud offering on clear terms similar to commercial vendors by a government service provider exclusively to government departments fills a critical gap.

The State Data Centres (SDCs) established as part of the National eGovernance Plan (NeGP) created the launchpad for the first gCloud offering in India. The service of data centre in Government has been transformed by making it a Pay-as-You-Go service. Gone are the days when mere automation was considered eGovernance. The emergence of gCloud is likely help the movement for interoperability fuelled by the Open Data Initiative. Reduced costs and reduced barrier to entry is likely to fuel innovation at grassroots.

The Government department operating in silos will feel the need and possibility of collaboration with other departments. eGovernance providers  and Social startups are provided with a new opportunity to create a lasting and relevant impact. IT in Government is moving from a expenditure paradigm to impact paradigm.

My Vote My Right – eIndia 2013 Awards – Pl Vote in Public Choice Category

Dear Friend,

My project on Youth Voter Awareness through Social Media is nominated in eIndia 2013 Governance Awards.
It is a bold experiment to use social media and web to connect with Youth Voters and received well. I was awarded the Best Returning Officer for use of technology by Election Commission of India.
I request you to Vote in the Public Choice category and by visiting the link below. (before midnight july 14th)
Scroll down to G2C Category and select My Vote My Right and submit.
Also spread the word on facebook and email please.
More details of the project is given below.
Thanks for your support.
Nagarajan M

My Vote My Right – Youth Voter Awareness


  • Project Category
    : Governance
    Sub Category: Government to Citizens (G2C)
    Reference No.: eindia2013/awards/242

    Details of Programme /Project/Initiative:

    Brief Description:
    Voter Awareness Campaign using Social Media for maximum participation.

    Objective:
    To spread awareness about Election process, inform Voters and increase voting in elections.

    Target Group: Voters of Gujarat with focus on Youth.

    Geographical Reach within India: State of Gujarat

    Date From which the Project became Operational: 15-7-2012

    Is the Project still operational?: Yes

    Five points that make the Product/Programme/Project/Initiative/School innovative:

    1. Facebook Quiz application for Voter Awareness .
    2. Pledge to Vote by sending SMS.
    3. Integration of Voter Registration and Polling Booth Locator in Facebook Page.
    4. Polling booth locator, Polling Officer Locator and Voter Registration in single Website .
    5. Direct Update of Awareness activities by the Government Staff in Social Media.

    Five key achievements of the Product/Programme/Project/Initiative/School:

    1. Proof of concept for Engaging Youth Voters through social media.
    2. Increased Capacity of Government Staff to adapt to new age thinking and performance.
    3. Increased Voter Awareness and Participation in Elections.
    4. Introduction of New Media in reaching out to Citizens.
    5. Model for using Technology to improve Government Outreach.

    Five key challenges faced while implementing the Product/Programme/Project/Initiative/School and how they were overcome:

    1
    . Sensitizing Government Officers and Staff about potential of New Media.
    2. Training for behaviour change and communication management.
    3. Optimal Web Application design to achieve Campaign Objectives.
    4. Convincing Higher authorities on using Social Media in Government.
    5. Creating content that is interesting and useful in a easy to digest format.

    Five points that make the Product/Programme/Project/Initiative/School replicable:

    1. Built on scalable open source software.
    2. Election Rules are same across the Country. Country adoption is easy.
    3. Multi Author Multi Location Capable architecture.
    4. Simple model for using the Power of existing Social networks like Facebook and Twitter and Youtube.
    5. Even Government Staff with minimal Computer knowledge can operate.

    Five points to elaborate on the scalability of the Product/Programme/Project/Initiative/School:

    1. First Time Social Media has been used in an official election campaign.
    2. Proves that Social Media is not a reputation risk but useful tool.
    3. Targeted messages to audience is possible only through use of technology and analytics.
    4. Any Government Servant like Clerk can use the system all across India.
    5. Built on Open Source reliable software and uses Social Network Platforms.

    More at   http://eindia.eletsonline.com/2013/Hyderabad/Governance/my-vote-my-right-assistant-collector-tharad/

How about a Phone Service for the Hearing Impaired

Modernised National Relay Service (For hearing impaired) – Australian Example which India needs.

Around 6% population of India suffers from some hearing difficulty, making it one of the countries with the highest number of hearing impaired. Of these, one in 1,000 people are born with hearing defect, while one in 10,000 children have a structural anomaly, rendering their ears too small to be able to hear well. <source>

 

relay service australia

The NRS is an Australian Government initiative funded by a levy on eligible telecommunications carriers.

The NRS consists of:

  • a Relay Service Provider which runs the call centre where relay officers relay your calls to other people, and
  • an Outreach Service Provider which runs the outreach service to provide a Helpdesk, and education and information activities which support awareness, training and use of the NRS.

You can type and read your conversation entirely via a TTY or via internet relay on a computer or mobile phone. Depending on your particular requirements, the relay officer can become “your voice” and read out your conversation to the other person. The relay officer can also listen to the response and type it back for you to read.

The privacy of all parties is respected and all calls are treated confidentially.

Following a competitive tender process, the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency (TUSMA) signed – in February 2013 – new contracts with Australian Communication Exchange and WestWood Spice to deliver the National Relay Service (NRS). The Government’s aim throughout this process was to ensure that a broad range of technologies was used to provide efficient services to those that need it most.

The improved NRS will enable hearing and speech impaired people to:

· For the first time, use SMS to contact emergency service organisations

· Make and receive phone calls through a new two-way internet relay service

· Access all NRS services through a new application available on smart-phone and other internet-enabled devices

· Access a video relay service, which will be available between 7am and 6pm on business days

· Use a web-based service that provides captioned telephony for the hearing impaired

Regulatory changes will be required for a number of these initiatives, they are expected to be in place by the time the new NRS contract begins on 1 July. This will allow new services to be progressively introduced as soon as possible in the second half of 2013.

The NRS will continue to provide its existing teletypewriter (TTY) and speech services 24-hours a day, every day of the year, as well as its extensive training and education services.

http://relayservice.com.au/