20201010 is a beautiful day.
It is a day for celebration. We made a few great things yesterday.
1.ReportFires app Kickstarter campaign is successfully finished
Our 30-day crowdfunding project ended yesterday morning. Thank all 105 backers from 14 countries! We met our funding goal of US$20000!
We initially were not sure we could meet the goal. App is not a popular Kickstarter category. Anyway, we decided to fund the development of the Free app ourselves. Any third party financial support is a bonus for us! Nothing to lose!
The campaign helped us to promote the app and reach more potential users! B2B and B2C marketing are very different. This is a very valuable lesson learned for us!
2.ReportFires is approved by App Store
On the same morning, Apple approved our submission to App Store! The whole approval process was than 48-hour! Pretty good.
Apple asked a few questions about the use of the ReportFires app and the target uses. The requested a video to show how our AI image detection of wildfire smoke works.
We replied promptly. Apple responded quickly too. It made us thought that Apple found the app useful and wanted to make it available on the App Store ASAP!
Here is the ReportFires App Store link:
3.Unwire.Pro interview is published
Unwire.Pro, a popular tech news website, interviewed RoboticsCats.com a few days ago. They found our app was very unique and they were interested in the golden circle, the why-how-what of ReportFires.
The Unwire.Pro crew was very professional and they asked many good questions. We provided them great answers too!
They published the article yesterday at noon! What a coincidence! It helped us to promote the ReportFires app too.
We believe the ReportFires app is a useful tool. It is useful when people are using it.
Here is the online article:
4.Successful fire test in Europe
In yesterday afternoon Hong Kong Time, which was morning Eastern Europe Time (EET), our partner was doing a fire test to demonstrate InsightFD features to the forest firefighter department. The weather was windy and very challenging for wildfire detection! We’re glad that the InsightFD system successfully detected wildfire in the fire test! Cool!
It was a great result. The partner and we spend huge effort to optimize InsightFD for the Eastern European forest environment! And our effort pays off!
It is a beautiful Saturday!
Time flies! The 30-day Kickstarter campaign of our ReportFires app will end this week! As of 04-Oct-2020 noon, there are 99 backers and the project is 90% funded! 4 more days to go! Please support and pledge our Kickstarter campaign!
Besides introducing the new ReportFires app to different stakeholders and promoting our Kickstarter campaign, we were spending a lot of time on testing. We have been testing the beta version of the ReportFires app for more than one week.
The app requires iOS 13. The oldest iPhones support iOS 13 are the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. We did many tests on iPhone 6S Plus to evaluate the app functionality and performance.
“Why the ReportFires app supports iPhones only?” some backers ask. The main reasons are the camera system and edge computing. Edge computing enables the app to work without Internet connectivity. Two lines break first in wildfires – the power circuit and telecommunication cable. In order to make the AI smoke detection most useful, we design the app to process the Machine Learning image detection 100% on iPhone. ReportFires will detect wildfire smoke and make sound alert no matter the iPhone is online (connected to Internet) or offline. ReportFires will help you to detect wildfire even if you don’t have reliable network service.
We used some early-stage wildfire photos to test the app. We used different screen sizes to display the images. The app could detect 90%+ of all the wildfire smokes in the photos! Very impressive.
We’re lucky in Hong Kong that we don’t have frequent wildfires in the city. In order to simulate an actual user environment – an iPhone running ReportFires is monitoring the fire-prone forest near home, we tested the app in our partner’s office. We projected wildfire smoke photos on a huge screen and put an iPhone 6S on a tripod. The app successfully detected smoke in the photos.
We had a gathering last Saturday at our colleague’s home. The government has just loosened the COVID-19 social distance requirement. The team could finally have some good food and spend a good time together! The colleague lives in a suburban village near forests. There is a specific term for this kind of residential area, WUI (pronounced woooeeee), stands for wildland-urban-interface. Controlled burns of debris/rubbish are common in suburban villages. We were lucky to see a controlled burn that day! We tested if ReportFires could detect the controlled burn smoke:
It was our first field test. ReportFires performed perfectly!
ReportFires will be available for Free in App Store in October 2020.
Good morning 29-Feb-2020!
It is a sunny Saturday in Tokyo. Good for a walk and podcats in the morning and some nice coffee. Finally I can sit down to write a blog for myself. An hour of freedom and solitude.
What a February!
A month ago we had the Chinese New Holidays. Good time for family gatherings. A break from work to re-energize ourselves. What happened then was totally unexpected.
The RoboticsCats team did come back to work from the holidays. The major difference was we all worked from homes in February! All our colleagues work from their homes in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Taipei, and Tokyo.
#Wuhanvirus / #coronavirus / #COVID19
Whatever it is called, it reminds us of what happened in the year 2003.
In that spring of 2003, we found that we could do very little. Desperate. Hopeless.
Thank God the virus outbreak ended in the summer.
Thank those doctors and nurses risking their lives to protect the people in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is not a place. It is the people. Just like Asgard.
“I am now in Tokyo, my latitude is 35.700 and longitude is 139.779 respectively. I see some smoke about 3km away from my position in the southeast direction. Please send someone to check if there is a fire!”
We need precise and concise information in urgency. Not everyone can communicate that way verbally. Not everyone has
RoboticsCats ReportFires is a crowdsourcing app to allow people to report and share wildfire location information. Wildfire risks are high for those living at WUI (Wildland-Urban-Interface). They will be very alert and try their best to protect their families and homes from wildfires. Besides purpose-built early fire detection robots, we believe people can help to report nearby fires to the authorities using common gadgets – smartphones. The authorities can make informed decisions and take timely actions. People need a tool to report fire locations easily. As easy as Google Maps.
The idea came when we submitted our proposal to CALFIRE last year. We implemented it this February. Design, development and UAT (User Acceptance Test) are all completed in the last four weeks! The time we saved form commuting to work allowed us to do more things! Thank our beta testers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Portugal, and Chile!
ReportFires will be launched coming Monday, 2-March-2020.
Every challenge brings out some good new things from human beings.
Web Application Firewall
ReportFires is a free web app. We need a WAF to protect it and to make it highly available and serviceable. Whenever and wherever. A tool in need is a tool indeed!
I spend a few days doing some market researches. I picked StackPath WAF. I knew MaxCDN was a respectful competitor when I was working at EdgeCast a few years ago. MaxCDN is now part of StackPath. Their WAF is cost-effective and easy to use. The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is important. We are a small start-up. I spend 15 minutes to implement and test it! Thank StackPath!
Pick of the week
An episode dedicated to Mr. Clayton Christensen.
I wish everyone a joyful Saturday. Have a nice coffee too.