Innovation That Matters

The Internet of Things meets firefighting


US innovation equips firefighters with real time information to help them respond to emergencies.

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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and the US Department of Homeland Security are developing a machine learning system to help feed relevant information and recommendations to firefighting teams in real time. The Assistant for Understanding Data through Reasoning, Extraction and sYnthesis, or AUDREY, is an AI system that gathers data on emergency situations and guides responders, enabling them to better deal with situations.

Equipment to help first responders safely and effectively save lives and minimize damage is constantly evolving — such as devices designed to improve navigation in smoke-filled buildings through vibrations or thermal imaging. The new system was designed to be part of the IoT and to coordinate those kinds of wearable technologies. For example, the whereabouts of each responder can be tracked through GPS, and sensors in the uniforms could track the concentration of dangerous chemicals or gases in the air, and the temperature in different parts of the building. “When first responders are connected to all these sensors, the AUDREY agent becomes their guardian angel,” says Edward Chow, the research’s program manager. “Because of all this data the sensor sees, firefighters won’t run into the next room where the floor will collapse.”

Springwise has previously covered an innovation that helps those in an emergency receive advice on how to deal with the situation. How else could AI be used to manage IoT devices to help save lives?



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