Natural calamities are something that the humankind can have no control on. Whether it's an earthquake, drought or tornado, the maximum the humans can do is restrict their effects, and this is where modern day technology is playing a crucial role.

Rivers in Honduras flood frequently, causing a major trouble to people and their lives there. Seeing the pain that the Honduras citizens had to suffer from on a daily basis prompted Robert Ryan-Silva, the director of DAI maker lab, to take on the Hidrosónico project.

Considering villages and farms in Honduras are located on river banks, they're highly prone to flooding. This makes it an extremely tedious task to design a full proof solution for the same. Making things worse is the fact that mobile phones have a mere 20 percent penetration in Honduras. Hence, a solution had to had to be invented that couldn't not only be able to detect rising flood waters in time and alert the families to evacuate, but also one that's rugged, affordable and easy to install.

This is exactly what the Hidrosónico project came up with. The project makes use of Sonar IoT sensors that are mounted to bridges in Honduras in order to measure the water level below.


For the unaware, Sonar IoT sensors make use of the same principal to detect water level that the bats use to see. Bats make use of echolocation in order to see with the help of sound. They do so by sending out "bat call” (sounds), which bounce off nearby objects. The bats can detect nearby objects and their speed by sensing how long it takes for the echo to return. The same way the sensors mounted on the Honduras bridge send high-frequency sounds onto the water and measure the time that it takes for the echo to reflect back. As and when the water level rises, the rivers flood, making the return time for the echo to shrink as there's a shorter distance to cover.


Using this process, makes the solution financially viable, as the components cost around a decent $300. In an effort to help more and more communities from floods, the company has made all of the product's coding, supplier details and design details available on GitHub absolutely free of cost. Using this, local firms will be able to build their own IoT warning system.

The Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) has been closely working with the communities all around the world developing innovative solutions to solve environmental and social problems for over forty years now.

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