Students looking for a missing person in Kolmården Wildlife Park

Someone’s lost in the Kolmården Forest and around 40 students must find him before he wanders into the elephant enclosure. They are using the electronic footprints he has made. Can they manage it? Indeed they can – and it doesn’t take them long.

Emma Persson, Ina Eriksson, Lina Fredriksson and Mirna Baaoth Emma Persson, Ina Eriksson, Lina Fredriksson and Mirna Baaoth Peter Holgersson AB

The students form groups of 4-5 people. In the Positioning Systems course they have been given the task of writing software that can track several types of signals: wifi, bluetooth, and mobile network signals from nearby antennas, where the strength of signal depends on distance. Their programs can also to show how far a person may have walked during a certain period from the point at which the person was most recently seen.

Technology to save Rhinoceros

A command centre has been set up close to the savannah where the Ngulia project, which works to save rhinoceroses from poachers in Kenya, is normally on display for 191021 Djur i bakgrunden när 40 studenter med hjälp av mobildata, WiFi och Bluetooth samt skallgångskedja och drönare ska  leta efter försvunna personer den 21 oktober 2019 i Norrköping.  Foto: Peter Holgersson ABRhinoceroses munching in the autumn dampness. Photo credit Peter Holgersson ABKolmården’s visitors. The LiU project manager for Ngulia, Professor Fredrik Gustafsson, is also here. Computers are connected and sim cards are inserted into mobile phones, to which apps are then downloaded, while rhinoceroses, antelopes, zebras and three alert ostriches strut past in the autumn mist. The ostriches keep a hostile eye on us while the other animals are more relaxed, more interested in food and each other than in us.

“We have received a call for help to find a lost person, most recently seen at the Farmors kök restaurant”, says David Gundlegård, senior lecturer and course coordinator.

Four groups start the search. The alarm was raised at 11.10 am. A drone takes off to collect signals from the terrain, and the 191021 Drönare när 40 studenter med hjälp av mobildata, WiFi och Bluetooth samt skallgångskedja och drönare ska leta efter försvunna personer den 21 oktober 2019 i Norrköping.  Foto: Peter Holgersson ABA drone with a cell phone Photo credit Peter Holgersson ABbaby rhinoceros runs worriedly to its mother, disturbed by the buzzing, whining noise.

Black cross on the screen

Fifteen minutes later the group that consists of future engineers Lina Fredriksson, Ina Eriksson, Mirna Baaoth and Emma Persson receives a positive indication in the form of a strong black cross on the screen. They have collected bluetooth signals from the drone, and determined the positions of all electronic devices in the area. “There’s someone here – the green crosses come from moving people, while the black one comes from someone stationary. One of the assumptions we were given was that the lost person would not be moving”, says Emma Persson.

191021 Mirna Baaoth och Emma Persson KTS när 40 studenter ska med hjälp av mobildata, WiFi och Bluetooth samt skallgångskedja och drönare leta efter försvunna personer den 21 oktober 2019 i Norrköping.  Foto: Peter Holgersson ABMirna Baaoth and Emma Persson Photo credit Peter Holgersson ABShe remains with Mirna Baaoth at the command centre while Lina Fredriksson and Ina Eriksson set out to search the park. It becomes clear, however, that they are in the wrong region, based on a previous indication that came from one of the park employees. Emma starts to consult the other groups, whose scouts are closer to the right place, while Mirna tries to guide Lina and Ina in the right direction by sending them a screendump of the position.

191021 Planering av gömsle när 40 studenter med hjälp av mobildata, WiFi och Bluetooth samt skallgångskedja och drönare ska leta efter försvunna personer den 21 oktober 2019 i Norrköping.  Foto: Peter Holgersson ABRasmus Ringdahl and Mats Amundin Photo credit Peter Holgersson ABThe other groups have now reached the same conclusion about the area in which to search for the lost person. Some students from another group are first to reach the correct position and find Rasmus Ringdahl with a smile on his face. He is research engineer in the Division for Communication and Transport Systems, KTS, and has played the role of the lost person.
“At least one of the groups passed quite close to me right at the beginning”, he says happily, grateful to be found after only 25 minutes and just in time for lunch.

Quick search

After a very welcome lunch break, when everyone had the chance to warm up indoors, it was time for the next four groups to repeat the search.

Rabii Zahir and his group of master’s students Dhananseyan Gnanasekaran, Mohamed Elsayed and Johan Cederström had 191021 Rabii Zahir med Johan Cederström när 40 studenter med hjälp av mobildata, WiFi och Bluetooth samt skallgångskedja och drönare ska leta efter försvunna personer den 21 oktober 2019 i Norrköping.  Foto: Peter Holgersson ABRabii Zahir and Johan Cederström Photo credit Peter Holgersson ABthe task of writing software to show how far a person can move from a given position in a given time. This group could also follow mobile telephone signals. While the first four groups were occupied with their searches, Rabii and the others watched their progress on the screen and gained something of an advantage when preparing for the next round of searching.

“He can’t have got any further than this, so he should be within this area”, they say, pointing at the screen.

Several of the other groups had similar indications and a few minutes later Rasmus Ringdahl was safely located in the undergrowth. “But all of the groups were sent after me”, he laughs.

“It’s just great to see the commitment the students have put into this”, says Fredrik Gustafsson, satisfied with what he calls “the largest game of hide-and-seek in LiU”.

Computers, telephones and internet dongles are collected and stored. The students wander away through the autumn-tinged rolling countryside, deep in discussion, to take the bus back to Norrköping. The elephants, who today were spared visits from “lost” people, have great fun relaxing in a wonderful pool of mud.

The Positioning Systems course gives 6 credits and is a compulsory course in the fourth year of those studying engineering and specialising in communication, transport and society. It is also compulsory in the first year of the master’s programme Intelligent Transport Systems and Logistics. The technology platform used in the exercise is the result of the Senzoor research project, a collaboration between LiU and the Kolmården Wildlife Park, financed by the municipality of Norrköping.

191021 Sökområdet när 40 studenter med hjälp av mobildata, WiFi och Bluetooth samt skallgångskedja och drönare ska leta efter försvunna personer den 21 oktober 2019 i Norrköping.  Foto: Peter Holgersson ABMissing People attended the workshop Photo credit Peter Holgersson AB“The Kolmården Wildlife Park is excellent for controlled experiments: we have permission to fly drones, access to infrastructure, and many different types of sensors. It’s also great fun when the students get to test in real life the positioning methods they have developed in the course”, says David Gundlegård, who is not only course coordinator but also project manager in the Senzoor project.

PS. The Farmors kök restaurant is part of the Bamses värld section of the Kolmården Wildlife Park.

Johan Cederström Dhananseyan GnanaSekaran Rabii Zahir and Mohamed Elsayed
Johan Cederström, Dhananseyan Gnanasekaran,  Rabii Zahir anf Mohamed Elsayed preparing for their serach. Peter Holgersson AB
David Gundlegård
David Gundlegård Peter Holgersson AB
The mobile gets its place on the drone
A drone is prepared for the flight Peter Holgersson AB
A drone with a cell phone
The drone is collecting signals from the terrain. Peter Holgersson AB
Tracks from the drone
Tracks from the drone Peter Holgersson AB
Mirna Baaoth and Emma Persson
Mirna Baaoth and Emma Persson tries to guide Lina Fredriksson and Ina Eriksson in the right direction. Peter Holgersson AB
Ina Eriksson, Amanda Tyden, Sara Olsson and Lina Fredriksson
Ina Eriksson and Lina Fredriksson, far left and right respectively, have returned after the search, and been joined by Amanda Tydén and Sara Olsson. The two of them are in their final year of an engineering degree in media technology. They went on the trip to Kolmården Wildlife Park to get grips of the technology in preparation for their degree project, which will involve working with the Ngulia project.  Peter Holgersson AB
The red parts on the map is no-go
The grid pattern on the map makes it easier to communicate, red parts on the map are no-go Peter Holgersson AB
Mirna Baaoth, David Gundlegård and Emma Persson
There are some problems with the bluetooth signaling, David Gundlegård tries to help. Peter Holgersson AB
Rasmus Ringdahl and Mats Amundin
Rasmus Ringdahl and Mats Amundin, head of research at Kolmården Wildlife Park. Peter Holgersson AB
David Gundlegård Sara Olsson Amanda Thydén
David Gundlegård with Sara Olsson and Amanda Thydén Peter Holgersson AB
David Gundlegård
He is found!  Peter Holgersson AB

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