Technology: Multisensory system to improve safety at work

Project SALVO by STMicroelectronics, ENEA and University of Catania kicks off

A new, smart technology, partly wearable, for the safety of workers and workplaces, bringing together wireless localization systems, low-energy artificial intelligence techniques and innovative sensors to detect harmful gases and fine dust. This is the focus of SALVO (multisensor for monitoring work environments) [1], a project by ENEA, Catania University and STMicroelectronics to develop over the next three years a multisensor system for monitoring and safety in the workplace, as part of a smart-manufacturing approach (Smart Factory).

A new, smart technology, partly wearable, for the safety of workers and workplaces, bringing together wireless localization systems, low-energy artificial intelligence techniques and innovative sensors to detect harmful gases and fine dust. This is the focus of SALVO (multisensor for monitoring work environments)

The technology foresees the creation of a low-cost multi-sensor device connectected to the cloud, to be integrated in different points of the work equipment according to specific needs, for a continuous monitoring of the worker in the operating environment.

The data acquired will be usable both by the worker and the company management. The information provided by the sensors, in fact, is sent to an IoT (Internet of Things) service platform that makes it possible to detect situations of environmental stress and possible risks for people, providing decision-making support to everyone involved in the production cycle.

The portable device can be easily integrated into smart IPDs (Individual Protection Devices), capable of interacting quickly and intuitively with the worker using them. Thanks to real-time monitoring of environmental conditions of the manufacturing processes, the information available will help improve the relationship among the factory, environment and territory.

The University of CataniaSalvatore Baglio of the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, delegate of the Chancellor for Scientific Research, President of the Bio-nanotech Research and Innovation Tower and scientific manager of the project SALVO for the University of Catania – has a long standing experience in the field of microsensors and microsystems made with integrated technologies.

This project is an ambitious multidisciplinary challenge with significant positive effects also on the current pandemic emergency, given the negative role that atmospheric particulate plays in the spread of the virus. In fact, the University of Catania will deal with the development and characterization of an innovative sensor for detection and measurement of atmospheric particulate matter and monitoring of the degree of pollution by fine dust in a distributed manner, useful for verifying the healthiness of workplaces”.

“In the field of development and application of chemical sensors ENEA has been a privileged partner of STMicroelectronics worldwide for about a decade- said Girolamo Di Francia, head of the Digital, Photovoltaic and Sensors Applications Development Laboratory and head of the project SALVO for ENEA. The multisensor to be created will recognize situations of environmental criticality, potentially dangerous for the worker and, by combining this information with other physical information, will allow the implementation of risk mitigation actions.

This innovative enabling technology, as has already happened in many other fields, will favour the emergence of new applications and new services, with foreseeable positive effects both on employment and development of new fields of study “.

STMicroelectronicsAndrea Di Matteo, head of the funded programs (European and national) for the Analog, Mems and Sensor (AMS) division of ST in Italy and head of the project SALVO – is concerned about workplace safety. As a world leader in IoT technologies, it seemed natural to us to try to use the skills we have acquired in recent decades to develop an intelligent device to support the worker within the production cycle, improving workplace safety”.

The project SALVO is an advancement in sensor design and process technologies for large-scale production of NDIR-based sensors (non-dispersive Infra-Red) technology and a new particulate sensor with reference to particles with a diameter inferior to 10um, defined as inhalable particles highly harmful to human health”.

 

Source: ENEA Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development

 

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