There’s new research by Yeanjae Kim, Jieun Baek and Yosoon Choi of the Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Pukyong National University, Korea on a Smart Helmet-Based Personnel Proximity Warning System for Improving Underground Mine Safety.
The system involves a smart helmet worn by walking workers that picks up Bluetooth beacons attached to heavy equipment, vehicles or placed in dangerous zones. The aim is to prevent collisions between equipment and pedestrians in mines.
The bidirectional proximity warnings provide visual proximity alerts that reduce worker mental effort and stress and help to free the hands of workers to maintain work efficiency.
The system uses an Arduino Uno board with Bluetooth BLE module within the helmet. Visual warnings are provided using LED straps.
The use of Bluetooth for proximity safety warnings isn’t new. We have come across similar concepts in power stations and factories where fixed smart lights and/or apps, rather than smart-helmets, are used to improve proximity safety, particularly near blind corners or hazardous areas. We also have clients re-purposing social distancing beacons to provide for simpler systems that warn workers of proximity to vehicles.