Bluejay is an iOS app for times of crisis, particularly when internet service is down. The app connects through Bluetooth to an Intel Edison (can be replaced by Arduino or Raspberry Pi) that is attached to a drone. Emergency responders can then fly it over areas that have been impacted by natural disaster and collect data, such as GPS location, from those who are stranded. The Edison stores all of the information it collects in its internal storage, and once it has returned to emergency responders, it runs a script to upload all of its data to the cloud. Another script is run to download updated information to be sent to the users when it flies back out into the field. Using that data, coordinates of first aid locations and people around the user are displayed on a map, and the user can then receive route guidance.

I built Bluejay in Swift3 with Xcode, and programmed the scripts for Edison in Python and Javascript. I used Firebase as the backend and designed everything using Inkscape and Sketch. I used a SymaX5SC drone (later upgraded to Phantom4) and also installed a battery pack for powering the Edison in-flight. The most important technology of the app was Bluetooth, and using it was no easy task. I had to take a deep dive into the world of communication protocols and low-level data transfer in order to understand and take advantage of the BlueZ package and Bluetooth Core framework. –Sara Du