The goal of this project is to create an autonomous aerial solution which can easily monitor the status of light pole bulbs and report its findings to the operator. This project involves the use of a smartphone and a consumer drone to give government agencies the ability to autonomously monitor light poles. With this low-cost and effective solution, the tedious task of monitoring light poles manually would be completely eliminated. As a dog-owner, I personally have not been able to play fetch or walk my dog at the local park after sunset due to several light poles being off due to being connected in a series to an electromechanical timer. The only solution to this problem is installing “smart” LED light poles which can be clunky to maintain and can quickly become deprecated and can be unreasonably expensive. Hence, I was inspired to develop an inexpensive and optimized solution to help cities monitor whether light poles are “on” or “off.” The results in this project not only meet but exceed most of the strict criteria which were determined at the project’s outset. The solution is able to accurately and autonomously monitor light poles. Lastly, the app is intuitive, free of memory leaks, and optimized for minimum CPU usage. This solution can be expanded to predict the quality of lighting provided by the light poles and their placement. This project has already been presented to the City of Cupertino, and they are interested in possibly adopting this solution.


What inspired you?

I’ve been unable to walk my dog at the local park after sunset due to several light poles being off. I was inspired to help cities and local government agencies monitor their poles autonomously.