StemComm is a full communications tool its eyes and ears in the air, on the ground and data back to the central command. It’s a drone that can fly over a system, take high-definition photos, and send them wirelessly back to the authorities, who can view them on their mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.
It provides real-time communication about potentially dangerous situations or in inaccessible areas, all without endangering lives or committing already-thin resources to reconnaissance. It shares information between people on the front line, people on the back line and those at command central, which could be hundreds of miles away.
We’ve currently been developing StemComm for use by first responders, the military, and other emergency and disaster preparedness professionals. And we had a situation here in Louisville in March 2011 where StemComm could have been a great benefit.
People from the Louisville/Southern Indiana area will remember the Carbide Industries Rubbertown chemical fire in Kentucky. By flying the StemComm drone and system could have done the following:
- Put the drone unit at the edge of the situation, safely above the situation, but close enough to gather data.
- Use the drone to determine the locations of the hot spots.
- Use the strategic information to alert the people who are in the most danger.
- With one of our add-ons, the drone could have been outfitted with a sensor to detect chemicals in the air, and where those chemicals are the most concentrated.
With StemComm, we are using technology thats readily available, and finding new ways it can be used. During Indiana’s springtime tornados in Henryville, lack of communication was one of the biggest problems the first responders ran into. They weren’t able to easily share photos and videos to give everyone an idea of what had happened.
With StemComm, we could have sent a unit into Henryville to allow the governor, area hospitals, first responders, and the incident commander to watch what was happening in real time, via an iPad, rather than receiving second-hand reports a couple hours later.
As we improve the system, our hope is to find more uses for the unit and what it can do for the people who put it to good use.