Russian schoolchildren have developed mobile applications to search for missing people


A hackathon organized by the NTI Olympiad together with the search and rescue squad “Lisa Alert” took place in Moscow. Schoolchildren aged 13–17 developed within the hackathon a number of digital solutions to simplify the search for missing people.

The contest for novice software developers was won by a schoolboy from St. Petersburg, Yaroslav Kapustin, a participant in the NTI Olympiad in the field Neurotechnology and Smart City. He proposed a mobile application that allows you to save data on the volunteer’s route even if he has no Internet connection in a particular area. This is especially important for searches in the forest. In addition, you can make tags in the app if the volunteer managed to find a thing belonging to the missing person, and all groups have the opportunity to leave a unique search track, which is important for the coordinator if search is large-scale and involves many groups. Another significant advantage for coordinators is a feature that enables to create groups of volunteers and discover free and busy participants, thereby, distributing resources.

The 2nd and 3rd places went to the BHB and XNoobs teams from Moscow. The BHB team has developed an app that allows you to see all the tasks for a specific search and assign specific people to them, find out the volunteer's coordinates in real time. The main idea behind the app is a chat for all participants of the search operation. In addition, using the application, you can report that the volunteer went on a search, or, on the contrary, returned to the base. Now all these coordination activities are made manually.

The XNoobs team app gives coordinators the opportunity to create routes so that groups of volunteers do not walk along the same routes, and, therefore, do not waste precious time. Eeven if the volunteer's tracking is deleted, all the tags made by him will stay in memory.

All teams that offered interesting solutions received an invitation to undergo an internship at the IT-departments of Lisa Alert, and the apps of the winning teams will be used by the search and rescue team Lisa Alert in 2019. Participants of the three winning teams will become finalists of the NTI Olympiad ahead of schedule and will be able to get 100 points on the Unified State Exam in one of the core subjects.

“Optimization of preparation for search and rescue operations could save time by about a quarter, that is, the search could start much earlier. But, most importantly, the designs proposed by the guys will significantly affect the quality of the search. For example, a unique opportunity to coordinate the path of volunteers. “Lisa Alert” has an app that is currently being finalized, and we are planning to integrate into it many things proposed on the hackathon,” said Oleg Leonov, coordinator of the search and rescue unit “Lisa Alert”, senior volunteer training specialist.

“For the organizers of the NTI Olympiad, it is fundamentally important to offer young people a solution to tasks that can bring real practical benefits,” said Alexei Fedoseyev, president of the Association of Technological Groups Participants, secretary of the Olympiad Organizing Committee.

The NTI Olympiad, a unique format of engineering competitions for schoolchildren of grades 7-11, with is tasked with identifying and developing talented children capable to solve complex interdisciplinary tasks, has been held by RVC and ASI since 2015. The profiles of the Olympiad correspond to the industry priorities of the National Technology Initiative (NTI) — the program of Russia's global technological leadership by 2035.

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