Imagine this, you are the emergency response officer at an elderly home. During your nightly shifts, you are the only one with your function around. One night the inevitable happens, one of the residents leaves their stove on, and in the middle of the night, the fire alarm stars blearing. You start to panic a bit as you run towards the central hall where you can monitor the fire alarm system. The problem is on the third floor. The emergency services have already been alerted and are on their way. Your job is to wait for them outside, in front of the building, but what if there are still people upstairs who cannot get outside on their own…
This is the current scenario the Blue Jay team is working on. In the case of an emergency, the emergency response officer, or BHV in Dutch, in an elderly home is required to go outside to wait for emergency service. This means he or she cannot help the residents to evacuate, help that they might very well need. This is where Blue Jay comes in. In case of an emergency, the drone can fly through the building looking for people who are confused or cannot find their way to the emergency exit.
Levy van Kempen is the Lead Interaction Design Engineer at Blue Jay. He, together with his team, is responsible for improving the interaction between Blue Jay and its users. One of the ways they do this is by implementing gesture controls on the drone. At the moment, there are three gestures implemented that Blue Jay can respond to. Waving, gesturing to sleep, and to land. Levy worked together with people from the other teams at Blue Jay to implement the gesture control into the drone in true Industrial Design fashion.
At Blue Jay, interaction design is more than app building, which might be the first thing that comes to mind. The team is responsible for everything related to the interaction with the drone which means testing, prototyping, and implementing both hardware and software. For this, the team works together with the other teams at Blue Jay.
At the start of the year, Levy started as a part-time member at the Blue Jay team. The last semester however he has been working full time doing his B3.1 with the team. It’s a bit like doing an internship at your own start-up. You get to work on innovative projects in a small and close team with responsibilities you will probably not get anywhere else.
The new Blue Jay team will get to choose a new scenario for which they will develop the drone further. And you are in luck, there are still spots for more Blue Jay members. If you are looking to get some hands on experience and work on something that goes into the world, joining a team like Blue Jay might be right for you.
If you want to know more about Blue Jay, visit their website, or read our previous article on this amazing student team in U38.