In a world where technology relentlessly advances, often overwhelming us, it is reassuring to witness innovation and artificial intelligence being applied to projects aimed at enhancing the quality of life and workplace safety. This time, we are talking about Safework, a research and development project driven by the EIT Digital Innovation Factory in collaboration with Gellify and COMSA. Its primary objective is the creation of a proximity detection system for moving industrial machinery. Let’s delve into the details of this innovative project and how it is poised to revolutionize safety in industrial and construction environments.
The Goal: safeguarding workers in hazardous environments
One of the greatest challenges in industrial and construction settings is ensuring the safety of workers who are near moving industrial machinery. Operators of heavy machinery must avoid accidents, yet workers often find themselves in areas with limited visibility, putting them at risk of accidents and serious injuries. This safety concern is further exacerbated in large-scale construction projects and open environments like roadworks.
To address this safety issue, Safework proposes the development of mobile Ultra-Wideband (UWB) antenna systems installed on industrial vehicles, alongside small personal beacons carried by workers. These beacons enable machine operators to receive real-time alerts on their cabin display devices, notifying them when workers are in close proximity to the vehicle. The key to this solution lies in its independence from the machinery, making installation and removal straightforward across different equipment.
Safework has already conducted pilot tests in railway construction projects in collaboration with COMSA and is currently in the pre-commercial pilot phase. The technology underpinning Safework is based on UWB Radar systems, embedded hardware, and positioning algorithms. The system monitors the real-time distance between all workers and heavy machinery, generating alerts and sending them to workers to indicate when they are within an unsafe distance. Moreover, Safework offers customization options for the information and monitoring panel to adapt to the specific needs of each project, whether it operates in EDGE, on-site, cloud, or hybrid environments.
Safework’s vision extends beyond current proximity detection capabilities. Its product roadmap includes the integration of new technologies, such as LiDAR 3D, to gather more environmental data and enhance processes and operational tasks in the construction and industrial sectors. Safework aims not only to prevent accidents but also to improve efficiency and safety in the workplace.
Versatility and applicability across diverse sectors
While Safework initially focused on the construction industry, its versatility makes it applicable across a wide range of sectors where people and machinery share workspace. This includes mining, logistics, and the automotive industry. Its ability to adapt to different machine types, brands, and models, along with its independence from on-site connectivity, makes it an attractive solution for various fields.
Safework’s technology relies on ultra-wideband radio signals that are easy to operate in any environment and immune to interference on construction sites. It prides itself on being a non-intrusive solution that does not disrupt workers’ operations. Its straightforward setup allows for the establishment of alert zones for each machine type and usage context, ensuring high accuracy through UWB technology.
Our Company: Safework sensors
Safework Sensors is a startup established in 2022 by LURTIS RULES. The Safework solution emerged from a collaborative innovation project between LURTIS and GELLIFY Iberia, an innovation consultancy. Additionally, it has received financial support from EIT Digital and collaboration from COMSA.
We are witnessing a project that exemplifies how artificial intelligence and technology can positively impact worker safety in industrial and construction environments.
We hope this information is of interest to you. If you are considering a project involving integrated artificial intelligence, do not hesitate to reach out. We aspire to be your trusted technological partner.