Drones Powered by Blockchain to Deal with Natural Disasters
Scientists urge the communities and the authorities to be more vigilant as the natural disasters hitting the USA get more intense and recurrent. Hurricanes, in particular, are striking the US and causing enormous losses in lives and property. However, the people and the authorities in areas that are likely to be hit have already started using technologies to face such catastrophes. One such technology is drones. They play a vital role in rescue missions, whether by finding survivors or distributing supplies.
Due to their low cost, drones can be operated by anyone. The only condition is that they get licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration. This gives communities the opportunity to take part in rescue missions as volunteers which will in turn induce swifter reaction.
Rescue teams usually use satellites or helicopters when identifying the areas in need of assistance. However, the footage from a satellite may lack details and helicopters are very expensive. In contrast, drones are equipped with high-quality cameras that provide high-res photos and videos in addition to other tools that can be used to map the area. Also, as flying objects without a crew, drones are capable of getting rather close to the disaster. Some drones can hold up against hurricanes which is useful in presenting the disaster live.
The use of drones can be revolutionized through advancements in the fields of artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning. The drones can traverse without human assistance through machine learning technologies combined with the innovations in AI.
Introducing blockchain tech to the drone ecosystem is rather new and its advancements show enormous potential. The combination of cutting-edge technologies; such as drones, blockchain, and AI, surely presents a huge advantage to disaster management.
Integrating blockchain technologies into the use of drones will guarantee a secure and transparent network. By recording the drones of a particular area on a blockchain network, they can be monitored on the network while their information remains undisclosed. As the goal is to use drones to help in rescue missions rather than hinder them, the authorities will be capable of detecting illegal drones and their users through the network.
Another advantage of blockchain is that it helps private drone users in getting compensated. A project called Soar has created its own token and called it Skymap. When the drone operator shares the content from their drone on the Soar marketplace and another user buys that data, the operator would get paid using the token. Soar’s main goal is using footage from drones and satellites to create a super detailed world map. The map will get updated whenever new photos are uploaded by drone users anywhere in the world. Such a map will be most helpful in crisis management, as it would help with rescue missions as well as planning and preparations for any future hazards. Drone operators who help update the map will be compensated by smart contracts.
Another project working on the integration of AI and blockchain in the utilization of drones is Distributed Sky. This project’s goal is creating a system that controls aerial traffic for unmanned vehicles worldwide. This project will solve the problem of traffic by creating communication channels between the drones and their users, as well as other entities in the network. Such communication should be secure and transparent for this venture to succeed. This will enable coordination between the emergency organizations, the authorities, and the drone-using volunteers.
While volunteering can help in creating a quicker response in emergencies, it is also worrisome because the volunteer drones may impede the rescue missions due to a lack of organization and coordination. This was a genuine concern for the FAA during Hurricane Michael that hit South Carolina and Florida recently. This is why they decreed a fine worth $20,000 on all unlicensed drones. Distributed Sky can solve this problem as it enables the authorities to trace all the devices to make sure they do not encumber assistance or fly over a restricted area.