Yusuf Sermet, graduate student in electrical and computer engineering and research assistant at IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering, recently was recognized with “Best Internet of Things (IoT) Hack by Vermeer” and the “Sukup

Innovation Award” at the Midwest Hackathon in Ames, IA.

He partnered with Major League Hacking (MLH), the official student hackathon league powered by Dell and Intel.

His project, “Combining IoT with Crowdsourcing for Natural Disasters,” was supervised by Ibrahim Demir, adjunct assistnt professor of civil and environmental engineering and assistant faculty research engineer at IIHR.

Students competed to create innovative hardware and software projects in a 36-hour non-stop competition.

“The main idea behind this citizen science project is to make crowdsourcing data collection and public involvement in science easy," Demir said.

The project involved reprogramming Amazon Dash Button and developing a web-based data acquisition and visualization tool. Amazon Dash Button is a low-cost wi-fi connected device that reorders previously selected products with the press of a button.

Sermet reprogrammed the Dash Button to connect IIHR servers to send flood related data and information. This allowed to record all instances of distinct Dash Button presses with other useful information such as date/time and geolocation, using IP address tracking. The application allows users with no technical background to send pre-defined information where human input is necessary or useful, with literally the minimum amount of effort compared to traditional citizen science applications.