There were roughly 10 billion “things” connected to the Internet at the end of 2015, and it is projected that this number will jump to 34 billion devices by 2020. With such significant growth in connected devices—and, with it, our insight into the data around us and its impact on our environment—it’s no wonder that governments are expected to turn to the IoT to increase productivity, decrease costs, and improve the quality of life. According to some reports, governments will be the second-largest adopters of IoT ecosystems over the next few years.

Fourteen-year-old Sanjana Shah was not thinking of any of this—only how to solve a potentially deadly problem in both her neighborhood and around the globe—when she developed her Smart Flood Sensor.

Last year, Sanjana and her family were stranded in city streets during a heavy downpour. Traffic was moving at a very slow pace, on-ramps were closed, and cars all around her were losing traction in the floodwaters building up on the freeways. After her experience, Sanjana researched road flooding and, according to data from 1980 through 2009, found that this all-too-common scenario has negatively impacted (think traffic issues, car accidents, property damage, and more) 2.8 billion people, caused 568,000 deaths, and is considered the number one natural disaster in the United States.

As a member of her school’s Science Olympiad team and with her passion for coding and automation, Sanjana knew there was a way to apply science and technology and help mitigate the damage of flash floods.

“I love hands-on technical and science experiments and I’m always thinking about how various electronic components and scientific concepts can be combined to solve larger problems,” said Sanjana. “I became obsessed with finding a way to measure and predict flood waters so city planners could quickly identify and fix the flooded areas, as well as prepare the city for future storms.”

Sanjana devised an IoT-based solution to do just that. Her Smart Flood Sensor uses a water flow sensor that is attached to a drainpipe and collects data using Arduino. It then periodically transmits the flow rate, wirelessly, to the IoT Cloud. The device is powered by a set of batteries and can last for more than one year on a single charge. Once in place, the Smart Flood Sensor can detect, monitor, and measure water flow and record that data to the IoT Cloud for analysis in order to predict and prevent future flood damage. The devices also incorporates text message and cloud-based notifications to alert local crews – like city planners or first responders – and help reduce response time to areas with potential flooding.

Bluetooth® was absolutely critical to making my design work,” said Sanjana, who went on to explain. “It becomes practically impossible to maintain the IoT devices that are in hard-to-access areas and, in order for these sensors to work, they need to be deployed underneath the drainpipes. I also needed a way to wirelessly communicate with the widest audience in order to make the device useful and practical.”

The sensors require occasional maintenance like installing the latest version of Sanjana’s software onto the Arduino and reading diagnostic values. Bluetooth® technology establishes a wireless link so that there is no requirement of physical connection between laptop and Arduino, allowing city crews to easily access the device from upwards of 10 meters away.  Sanjana has deployed and tested prototypes of the Smart Flood Sensor in and around her neighborhood. She has even spoken with her city’s mayor to discuss how to take the project further.

Sanjana hopes to continue this conversation and meet with district officials, city planners, and water companies to put the device into wide-range testing in storm drains throughout her city. Next steps for the project include developing more devices for testing and improving production quality. Long term, Sanjana hopes to engage students from other countries that are in absolute need of this kind of flood monitoring system, to teach them how to build and install their own Smart Flood Sensor system and help prevent city floods around the globe.

Adopting AoA Direction Finding Provides a High-Precision Location Experience

From general proximity solutions to high-precision positioning, Bluetooth® technology provides a range of reliable…

Understanding Bluetooth® Internet Gateways for IoT Solutions

Bluetooth® technology is used by nearly 40% of all Internet of Things (IoT) devices.…

Bluetooth® Technology and the Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Millions of people have installed smartphone applications which are designed to notify users if…

Revealed: New Trends Driving the Future of Bluetooth® Technology

Watch Chuck Sabin, Senior Director, Market Development for the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG),…

2021 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

Social Distancing by the Thousands: How our BT710 Makes it Easy

As more governments, schools, workplaces, and others explore options for resuming public life in…

Bluetooth AoD as the Technology of Choice for Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS)

This article discusses how GPS and Location Based Services became so ubiquitous that we…

Chicago office building constructed with coronavirus-fighting features

When it opens later this summer, a $26 million Chicago office building will be…

The Future of Bluetooth Technology

Get the latest trends and forecasts in key Bluetooth solution areas and see how…

Smart lighting as a platform – ‘Suddenly you can attack this 70% inefficiency’

The case to connect lighting is clear enough. The arithmetic for cities says remote…

2020 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

Using IoT to Deliver Smart Stadium Insights

Stadium operators are in a head-to-head battle against a fan’s at-home experience. To win…

U-Blox Announces Nina-B4 Bluetooth Low Energy Module for Long Range

U-Blox announces the Nina-B4 Bluetooth low energy module series. Based on Nordic Semiconductor’s recently…

Why u-blox Chooses Bluetooth Technology for Tough Environments

A global provider of positioning and wireless communication technologies for the automotive, industrial, and…

3 Common Myths About Bluetooth

Perhaps a victim of its own success, the global proliferation of Bluetooth® technology in…

Bluetooth Range - A Real Life Test Report

This whitepaper contains information about testing Bluetooth operating range in real life. The report…

Bluetooth Location Services

See 8 use cases for enhancing building efficiencies and creating a better visitor experience, discover new data that supports the latest trends and forecasts, and find out what’s driving the rapid adoption of location services solutions.

2019 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

Bluetooth Direction Finding: A Technical Overview

This comprehensive overview examines how two new Bluetooth direction finding methods can enable location services solutions that support high-accuracy.

Bluetooth Mesh: One Year Down, Many More to Go!

As posted on Silvair’s blog on 18 July 2018. July 2017 was the grand…

An Introduction to Bluetooth Beacons

Learn how to build your own Bluetooth beacon or integrate beacon technology into your existing products and apps.

 Get Help