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AI tool launched for proximity detection and social distancing

A Brisbane-based engineering company has launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool that monitors danger zones and alerts safety breaches in real time.

A Brisbane-based engineering company has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that monitors danger zones and alerts safety breaches in real time.

PRM Engineering has developed the product over three years in response to a growing legislative and cultural safety impetus.

The company’s Director Mike Davis said what sets the technology apart is its dual operator and pedestrian warning approach.

“Currently, the majority of safety systems available only alert either the machine operator or those in surrounding areas, which does not effectively mitigate all risks,” Davis said.

“Our advanced AI neural network is trained using machine learning and information input algorithms to process images in real time and solely detect human interference. This human-only detection approach ensures alarms are only being triggered when there is a critical risk of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle.

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“This ensures the alarms are not picking up non-critical items and ensures the alarms are more meaningful to the operator; significantly minimises the likelihood of them tuning the alarms out.”

The tool, called Sentinel Vision AI, was originally developed to monitor the safety of workers and pedestrians around heavy equipment. However, the designers have recognised the ability for it to be adapted to enforce physical distancing on construction sites during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It could be used to monitor an area and alert people when an extra person transgresses into the zone. Instead of sounding an alarm for everyone, it would be triggered remotely to notify the assigned staff member that there has been a safety breach.

“Though PRM Engineering expertise lies within the construction and mobile machinery space, the current market demand for advanced safety measures has allowed our team to adapt to the environment and emerging needs that have come of COVID-19,” Davis said.

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