Page 24 - THE Journal, March/April 2019
P. 24

in, they can see it and know if the water is rising in their backyard.”
In the event of a storm, those in the know could then move their goods upstairs or haul stuff away before the roads became impassable. “I think the more information you have, the better prepared you can
be, whether it’s just moving things out of your backyard or putting plans into action that you’ve discussed with your family,” Richardson noted.
He built the sensor in the Fab Lab and
as he started talking about it to others, he quickly realized there was a lot of interest. That’s when the project began to take off. “My in-laws’ experience was the same experience that thousands of people have that were near the lake. That’s where it went from being something that was personal to me to being something that could be used to provide a service to the community.”
So far, Richardson’s sensor is the only one that has been deployed. Two others are in the works, ready to be installed, but “we’re still in the testing and hardening phase,” he noted. “Part of the process of the Fab Lab
is that we get to real-time demo and then improve. As we discover different things that could be improved, we can do it in a real- time and continue that process and use it as an example to show community members and students what that looks like.”
Now, the Fab Lab is figuring out how to use the sensor project to teach students about electronics, such as soldering, he added. “Instead of \[making\] a fun trinket

   22   23   24   25   26