Guardian Angel: Reactive Wearables and Clothing

Phillips, James (2018) Guardian Angel: Reactive Wearables and Clothing. [USQ Project]


Workers operating in isolated or remote locations away from the public and without co-workers and/or constant supervision are at an increased risk from situational or environmental hazards with the potential to sustain serious and fatal injuries. With the recent popularisation of wearable technology and the ability for a wearable device to actively and intelligently monitor the status of a worker, it has become a growing interest for businesses to adopt this technology for the purposes of monitoring and improving the safety of its lone workers.

Wearable technology has the inherent advantage of being able to offer continuous monitoring of physiological and environmental parameters and can provide real-time feedback into the current conditions of the worker and their environment. According to the preliminary work health and safety statistics published by Safe Work Australia (2018), it has been estimated that there were 187 work-related fatalities reported in 2017. In 2016, the number of reported fatalities was 182. Wearable technology has the advantage of being able to automatically assess the status of the worker and intelligently react to situations where the worker has become injured and is unable to contact for support.

Much of the research conducted in this project has been based around the design and development of a physical prototype following a comprehensive literature review and detailed requirements analysis. The design can be broken into two key areas. The first is the hardware electronics design which includes the selection of a suitable microprocessor, power supply, physiological and environmental sensors, and the integration of these components into simple clothing or textiles. The second key area is the software implementation which is responsible for the collection and analysis of the data from the sensors as well as the activity classification which forms the basis of the decision support platform.

The primary outcome of this project was to explore and assess the feasibility and practicality of using wearable technology for the purposes of monitoring and improving the safety of lone workers. The outcome of the prototype design is to collect heart rate and accelerometer data from sensors integrated into simple clothing and then analyse this data as part of a classification system used to assess the safety status.

Given the time constraints of the project, only a basic analysis has been performed into the sensor selection and activity and safety classification modelling. There is an opportunity therefore for further research to be conducted into optimising the sensor selection and comparing other alternative classification algorithms.

Wearable technology can be used to improve safety through unobtrusive monitoring using integrated textiles that is both practical and comfortable for lone workers.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Maxwell, Andrew
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic)
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2022 01:02
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2023 02:27
Uncontrolled Keywords: wearable technology; remote worker safety

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