War update #2 (volunteering and living from day to day)

A project log for uECG - small open source wireless ECG sensor

It's cheap, doesn't use a specialized heart rate AFE and can blink LEDs with your pulse :)

ultimate-roboticsUltimate Robotics 03/17/2022 at 13:240 Comments

Yesterday we learned that Tindie platform, on which, as you know, we sell uECG, wrote a post about the war in Ukraine and in particular about the experience of our team. They also wrote to us in a separate letter about the reaction of the company itself and the community - that Siemens has had started a €1 million matching donations round for our country, limited sales and shipments for stores from russia and belarus, and that makers from these countries do not support the actions of their governments. It was sudden and very supportive of them! We love Tindie as a platform/community and it's great to have them on our side.  

But we also realized that we haven't made updates for a long time... I would like to share some events that happened after our previous post. Our intentions to go to Kyiv suddenly became technically impossible - public transport stopped running in full, which made it impossible to leave the railway station. Therefore, we stayed in Lviv to wait until the situation with transport improves.  

We did not sit idly by. First of all, we took care of ourselves and each other - building up the household infrastructure (buying food, household goods, kitchen appliances, pillows, blankets, slippers, etc.). These actions gave us the opportunity to at least eat hot food, and to recover as much as possible. At the same time, we plunged into volunteer work. Almost every day, together or separately, we bought various kinds of things and handed them over to volunteers, who distributed them further according to their intended purpose. Most of these things were medicines that were needed right now and on the same day they were sent to Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities. Volunteers distributed lists of what medicine was needed, but they were often long, so we further narrowed them by making a list including the ones that are spent faster and always needed, and some rare ones that are hard to find, and targeted those specifically.

We also kept an eye out for requests for hard to get or specialized things. A couple days we hunted for pillows and blankets for refugees, as the city suddenly ran out of them, and were able to supply a dozen or so. Then we turned to equipment requests, and were able to get 2 chainsaws to transfer to a military unit (the one that, to our horror, got bombed later near Lviv…) and also 3 oximeters, a blood pressure monitor and a glucometer to a group of wounded military. One day we also randomly got a couple kg of tofu for a vegan cafe which provides food to refugees for free, had to get it from farmers outside Lviv as there was no tofu here… Focus was never our strongest suit. For now, we ran out of money for a little bit, but we’ll continue as soon as we can. Below is a small photo report.  

Going back to our plans: just recently, we actually still managed to go back to Kyiv for a day and pick up some of the things and components for projects. Now the whole team continues to stay in Lviv and we are trying to understand our next steps. We miss Kyiv a lot and we do not know for how long we will stay in Lviv, but we do not want to go back empty-handed. So we are thinking about something, but it’s not clear for now if we will be able to pull it off.

We are also trying to shift some of the attention to work, but we have much less resources and focus than before. Although we must say that so far doing even a little work has been grounding.

It's hard to talk about plans when we don't know how today will go and what events will take place in Ukraine. We’re trying to live one day at a time, as a lot of people here now do - although we try to plan for 2-3 days (or more!) now too. Therefore, we will try to post updates in retrospect whenever possible.

We also wanted to thank all our customers/buyers who expressed concern and supported us both in words and in deeds! Thank you very much! 

And for everyone who wants to support Ukraine, we share again the details for donations.

It’s best to support this fund directly: