2019 Drone Drop: IBM is Giving Away 1,500 DJI Tello Drones to Help Developers Code Something Amazing

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Until June 16, IBM will be giving away 1,500 DJI Tello Drones – and they’ll help you program them to do something amazing.

“Through IBM’s Code and Response initiative, along with non-profits, aid agencies, and local governments, IBM is putting open source technologies developed as part of coding challenges such as Call for Codein the communities where they are needed most,” says IBM “With this in mind, we have launched the IBM Developer Drone Giveaway to empower more developers to leverage drone-related code patterns, get up-and-running on IBM Cloud and inspire more entries to Call for Code, which is open to submissions until the end of July.”

The program is oriented around using drones in disaster response.  Drones have proven to be critical tools in disaster response, in applications that include pre-disaster base line assessments, situational assesment for commanders, search and rescue, and insurance evaluations post-disaster.  To help developers work on new ideas, IBM has published tutorials explaining how to use IBM Watson Visual Recognition and IBM Cloud to analyze drone aerial imagery in post-disaster situations: https://ibm.co/2QfFScZ & https://ibm.co/2HxeggJ.

Here is how the giveaway works:

  • Step 1: Visit the contest page, click “Enter now,” and sign up for your free IBM Cloud to be in the running.
  • Step 2: On Tuesdays between now and June 16, 2019, watch the IBM Developer Twitch channel and check your email. Each week, we’ll randomly select a group of winners who will receive a DJI Tello drone, full access to code patterns for drone programming, and a nice surprise or two.
  • Step 3: Code something amazing with open source patterns. Complete a series of challenges, using tools like Node-RED and IBM Watson Visual Recognition, Watson IoT, IBM Cloud, and IBM Data and Analytics, to create a drone application that makes a difference in your community. Showcase your work on social using #IBMDroneDrop.

The 2018 winner, self-taught developer Pedro Cruz, is now an IBM employee:

“.. .Pedro decided to create a natural disaster preparedness drone solution inspired by his grandmother in their home of Puerto Rico. With the island still recovering from Hurricane Maria, Cruz participated and won the Call for Code hackathon in Puerto Rico for his solution – DroneAID. During the hurricane, Pedro was unable to reach his grandmother after Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017. He found her, and after confirming she was safe, he used his drone to scout for other people who needed help and noticed hundreds of messages scrawled on the ground by those desperate for aid,” says an IBM blog post.

For his winning idea, he created a visual vocabulary that could be displayed by disaster victims and read by drones using visual recognition technology. Reading the symbols, the drones would then relay vital information back to relief workers, potentially shortening the response time from days to hours.”

Check out this article for more information on the contest.


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