Almost two years ago, IBM called on companies to develop solutions to help deal with the aftermath of natural disasters. The winner of that first Call for Code event was Project Owl, an IoT solution that helps connect first responders and victims following such an event.

Now, the Linux Foundation has announced that it will host that project. It is calling on developers around the globe to continue with Project Owl’s goals and build mesh network nodes that will be used in emergency communications networks.

Since 2018, Project Owl has created a mesh network of IoT devices called “DuckLinks.” According to the Linux Foundation, these DuckLinks can be deployed or activated to quickly reestablish connectivity after a natural disaster occurs. The devices are solar- and battery-powered as well as water resistant. They can be placed out in the field to generate a local area network. 

Once activated, the DuckLinks provide an emergency network to mobile devices in their range and will instruct people on how to connect to an emergency response portal.

By open sourcing the project, any cheap wireless device could now be made into a DuckLink, the Linux Foundation explained.  

“Becoming part of The Linux Foundation community is a huge boost in accelerating our goal to better prepare communities and mitigate impact when hurricanes, floods or earthquakes strike. We want to challenge developers to build mesh network nodes for global emergency communications networks leveraging our newly open-sourced IoT firmware,” said Bryan Knouse, Co-Founder of Project OWL.

Project Owl was developed by Bryan Knouse, Magus Pereira, Nicholas Feuer, Charlie Evans, and Taraqur Rahman.