In their line clearance work, at times Asplundh crew members get seriously injured and even have fatal accidents due to lack of proper communication mechanisms in the field. One of the most recurring use cases occurs while a crew member is cutting a tree limb and another one walks into the danger zone unaware of what could fall from the top. Asplundh needed innovative ways to solve this problem.
SPS has created a complete workflow integrating web, mobile elements and IoT sensors to resolve this issue. As a first step, a danger zone is established around the tree on which some work is required. The crew member or the supervisor using their mobile camera point to the tree, the app measures its height and then establishes a danger zone around the tree with a radius which is twice the height of the tree. This zone can either be manually turned on, or it could be time based. There is an automatic switch as well which gets triggered when the sensors on the helmet of the crew members pick the audio noise of the saw machine and turn the danger zone to on state. Once the zone is on, now when any unauthorized personnel enters this area, their helmets vibrate to alert them that they are not in a safe place along with receiving alerts on their mobile device. At the same time, the supervisor & the crew member using the saw are alerted as well.
Another issue is that generally the field workers are working in areas with weak or no internet connectivity. As such transceivers have been added to the helmets along with BLE sensors so that all communication between the crew members could take place without any hurdle.
Either in real time or later once the field workers establish internet connectivity, all this data is transmitted back to the web app. This helps create profiles of crew members indicating which members are taking undue risks or which ones need more training.
Every two weeks, the team met the CIO of Asplundh, working iteratively on the solution. The final solution was created after the 9th sprint and was successfully demoed to Asplundh.
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