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I was only nine
when my grandfather first described to me the horrors he witnessed six years earlier
when human stampedes killed 39 people
in our hometown of Nashik, India.
It was during the 2003 Nashik Kumbh Mela,
one of the world's largest religious gatherings.
Every 12 years, over 30 million Hindu worshippers
descend upon our city --
which is built only for 1.5 million people --
and stay for 45 days.
The main purpose is to wash away all their sins
by bathing in the river Godavari.
And stampedes may easily happen
because a high-density crowd moves at a slow pace.
Apart from Nashik, this event happens in three other places in India,
with varying frequency,
and between 2001 and 2014,
over 2,400 lives have been lost in stampedes at these events.
What saddened me the most
is seeing people around me resigning to the city's fate
in witnessing the seemingly inevitable deaths of dozens
at every Kumbh Mela.
I sought to change this,
and I thought, why can't I try to find a solution to this?
Because I knew it is wrong.
Having learned coding at an early age and being a maker,
I considered the wild idea --
(Laughter)
[Makers always find a way]
I considered the wild idea of building a system
that would help regulate the flow of people
and use it in the next Kumbh Mela in 2015,
to have fewer stampedes and, hopefully, fewer deaths.
It seemed like a mission impossible,
a dream too big,
especially for a 15-year-old,
yet that dream came true in 2015,
when not only did we succeed
in reducing the stampedes and their intensity,
but we marked 2015
as the first Nashik Kumbh Mela to have zero stampedes.
(Applause)
It was the first time in recorded history
that this event passed without any casualties.
How did we do it?
It all started when I joined an innovation workshop
by MIT Media Lab in 2014
called the Kumbhathon
that aimed at solving challenges faced at the grand scale of Kumbh Mela.
Now, we figured out to solve the stampede problem,
we wanted to know only three things:
the number of people, the location,
and the rate of the flow of people per minute.
So we started to look for technologies that would help us get these three things.
Can we distribute radio-frequency tokens to identify people?
We figured out that it would be too expensive and impractical
to distribute 30 million tags.
Can you use CCTV cameras with image-processing techniques?
Again, too expensive for that scale,
along with the disadvantages of being non-portable
and being completely useless in the case of rain,
which is a common thing to happen in Kumbh Mela.
Can we use cell phone tower data?
It sounds like the perfect solution,
but the funny part is,
most of the people do not carry cell phones
in events like Kumbh Mela.
Also, the data wouldn't have been granular enough for us.
So we wanted something that was real-time,
low-cost, sturdy and waterproof,
and it was easy to get the data for processing.
So we built Ashioto,
meaning "footstep" in Japanese,
as it consists of a portable mat which has pressure sensors
which can count the number of people walking on it,
and sends the data over the internet
to the advanced data analysis software we created.
The possible errors, like overcounting or double-stepping,
were overcome using design interventions.
The optimum breadth of the mat was determined to be 18 inches,
after we tested many different versions
and observed the average stride length of a person.
Otherwise, people might step over the sensor.
We started with a proof of concept built in three days,
made out of cardboard and aluminum foil.
(Laughter)
It worked, for real.
We built another one with aluminum composite panels
and piezoelectric plates,
which are plates that generate a small pulse of electricity under pressure.
We tested this at 30 different pilots in public,
in crowded restaurants, in malls, in temples, etc.,
to see how people reacted.
And people let us run these pilots
because they were excited to see localites work on problems for the city.
I was 15 and my team members were in their early 20s.
When the sensors were colored,
people would get scared and would ask us questions like,
"Will I get electrocuted if I step on this?"
(Laughter)
Or, if it was very obvious that it was an electronic sensor on the ground,
they would just jump over it.
(Laughter)
So we decided to design a cover for the sensor
so that people don't have to worry what it is on the ground.
So after some experimentation,
we decided to use an industrial sensor,
used as a safety trigger in hazardous areas
as the sensor,
and a black neoprene rubber sheet
as the cover.
Now, another added benefit of using black rubber
was that dust naturally accumulates over the surface,
eventually camouflaging it with the ground.
We also had to make sure that the sensor is no higher than 12 millimeters.
Otherwise, people might trip over it,
which in itself would cause stampedes.
(Laughter)
We don't want that.
(Laughter)
So we were able to design a sensor which was only 10 millimeters thick.
Now the data is sent to the server in real time,
and a heat map is plotted,
taking into account all the active devices on the ground.
The authorities could be alerted if the crowd movement slowed down
or if the crowd density moved beyond a desired threshold.
We installed five of these mats in the Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015,
and counted over half a million people
in 18 hours,
ensuring that the data was available in real time at various checkpoints,
ensuring a safe flow of people.
Now, this system, eventually, with other innovations,
is what helped prevent stampedes altogether at that festival.
The code used by Ashioto during Kumbh Mela
will soon be made publicly available, free to use for anyone.
I would be glad if someone used this code
to make many more gatherings safer.
Having succeeded at Kumbh Mela
has inspired me to help others who may also suffer from stampedes.
The design of the system makes it adaptable
to pretty much any event
that involves an organized gathering of people.
And my new dream is to improve, adapt and deploy the system
all over the world to prevent loss of life and ensure a safe flow of people,
because every human soul is precious,
whether at concerts or sporting events,
the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad,
the Hajj in Mecca,
the Shia procession to Karbala
or at the Vatican City.
So what do you all think, can we do it?
(Audience) Yes!
Thank you.
(Cheers)
(Applause)
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載入中…

【TED】尼萊庫卡尼: 預防在人群中被踩死的救命發明 (A life-saving invention that prevents human stampedes | Nilay Kulkarni)

385 分類 收藏
Zenn 發佈於 2018 年 3 月 15 日
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