MIT, wearable devices and IoT improve industrial safety

Some prototypes made by MIT will allow workers at various companies to perform their tasks without putting their lives at risk

The Internet of Things within the industrial sector may soon be called IoP, or Internet of Prototypes. Industry 4.0, in fact, is leading to the design of increasingly high-performance connected objects, some even wearable, which in the future will increase safety within the company.

Making prototypes within a company nowadays means getting involved. But given the lowering of costs for the production of a prototype, the advantages for the company will be twofold. On the one hand, personalized devices will be created more and more frequently to increase the company's efficiency, and on the other hand, factory testing of prototypes will lead to the creation of new products that the company can sell to its customers. An aspect that would allow a great saving on the funds destined to the research and experimentation of new objects to be sold to the public.

Company security and IoT

In addition to these aspects, the theme of security should never be forgotten. Not only the IT one but also the physical one of employees and entrepreneurs who have to work in dangerous contexts for their health. MIT has recently announced a competition for the creation of an IoT wearable capable of increasing the safety of workers. And the winning design, created by engineer Guillermo Bernal, has begun its testing phase at refinery company ENI. What does the wearable focus on and what data does it analyze to improve employee health? First, the wearable accurately detects exposure to chemicals. In addition, the wearable is designed to immediately call for an ambulance or automatic help in case an employee has fallen, had an illness or is in danger of dying. Same goes for falls from height. These currently represent, in many sectors, one of the main reasons for deaths in the workplace. In the future, special wearables with sensors will enable employees to save themselves in the event of a fall. To avoid injuries and excessive efforts, finally, the wearable has a special sensor that detects the load carried by the employee and recommends to decrease the weight when it is too high compared to the body of the worker. The prototype wearable made by MIT is a vest that constantly detects heart rate and breathing. The vest uses sensors to communicate with a smart jacket that detects fumes and chemicals. Instead, special smart shoes will be used to monitor load lifting.