OpenRelief is a project to design open, modular, information solutions for disaster relief. OpenRelief was inspired by difficulties encountered by the founders, when trying to map the Tohoku disaster area in Japan during March 2011. It was hard to see through the “fog” of disaster, so we decided to create tools to clear the fog. OpenRelief was founded by Shane Coughlan and Karl Lattimer, and has a large team of international volunteers. OpenRelief contributors come from the USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and elsewhere. OpenRelief is an international project, but primarily located in the UK and Japan. The group is also in the process of forming a UK association to manage the finances of the project.

OpenRelief is in the prototyping phase, and expects to have production-ready-designs released for the end of December 2012.

The first project

OpenRelief is creating a robot plane that is used to investigate and map disaster zones. This robot will be small enough to be launched from footpaths and smart enough to recognize roads, people and smoke. It will use sensors to measure weather and radiation. The information it collects can easily be shared with disaster management systems like Sahana Eden.




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