The MIT team came up with the idea of replacing manual inspections with a set of cameras and sensors mounted on top of a vehicle, in much the same way that Google uses vehicle-mounted camera systems to generate its street views. But in this case, the vehicles would prowl the city’s streets at night, picking up the location of streetlights using digital cameras and sophisticated software to distinguish between streetlights and other sources of illumination, and even to estimate the height of each lamp. Other sensors measured the exact level of illumination, in order to determine if lights were failing, or if there were dark areas between lights indicating a possible lamp outage or a need for an additional light pole…
…Rather than deploy a fleet of dedicated vehicles to carry out these surveys, which would be an expensive outlay for cities that are often cash-strapped, the team proposes that portable equipment be mounted on the roofs of city-owned vehicles that would already be crisscrossing the city anyway, such as police cars, buses, or garbage trucks. This could provide extensive coverage of a city at minimal cost. To demonstrate the concept, they carried out field tests in four cities — Cambridge, Massachusetts; Malaga and Santander in Spain; and Birmingham, UK — using portable equipment mounted on the roofs of economy rental cars or vans. After each of these tests, Kumar says, “we would disassemble our entire project, pack it up in a suitcase, and get customs clearance” to move on to the next test.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !
Something like this would be even better at identifying which artificial light sources are causing too much glare, by measuring their angle to the horizontal and how much light output they produce. Reducing glare greatly improves visibility, an often neglected consideration when lighting systems are installed.