Towards safer construction sites with IoT

The start-up CAD.42, the big winner of the Orange 5G Challenge at Vivatech, is developing IoT (Internet of Things) solutions to help the construction industry to detect risks and alert workers to hazards. The system also analyses logistical flows to optimise operational performance. Let me explain...

“Grâce à la puissance de la 5G, nous pourrons proposer des solutions encore plus fiables pour sécuriser les chantiers”

Even though the number of accidents in the construction sector is falling, safety at worksites continues to be a leading concern among companies. The start-up CAD.42, the winner of the 5G Challenge, seized on the issue by offering solutions to protect fellow workers at sites via an ecosystem of connected devices based on geolocation tools. Using the collected data, a system can be put in place to predict and calculate hazards, thereby avoiding potentially dangerous situations.

Real-time hazard alerts

To do so, CAD.42 placed sensors on all potentially dangerous or misused material or equipment (crane pulleys, heavy vehicles, machines) as well as on smart vests (featuring audible and visible signals) and connected watches worn by workers.

The entire system is connected to the BIM (Building Information Model) and to the company’s IT systems. The data is then uploaded to the Cloud in real time where it is processed with two goals in mind: to identify dangerous situations — so workers are immediately alerted (by a sound or vibration), and to generate activity reports for the equipment to evaluate misuse as soon as possible (rates of overuse or underuse). To minimise costs in the field, innovative tools and metrics can be configured.

5G, tailored to the IoT

Although many construction sites are already equipped with CAD.42 solutions, which operate using Wi-Fi or 4G, the advent of 5G will not only provide greater flexibility when using them, but also savings in time and energy. “At the moment, the data is being ported to a Cloud server and to a server at the connected site. With the responsiveness offered by 5G, this server can be eliminated, which will reduce travel, not to mention cost!” says Jean-Philippe Panaget, co-founder of CAD.42.

Such benefits confirm 5G as the future network tailored to IoT. “For example, with the connected-crane solution, we attach a box with an integrated camera on the pulley system of the lifting gear. With 4G’s current latency, it is not possible to achieve continuous data flow, only a series of snapshots. But with the power of the new network, we can offer HD video to our customers for even more reliable results,” says Jean-Philippe Panaget enthusiastically.

After all, reliability is really the primary goal of 5G, which will soon be deployed by Orange. When technology can have an impact on the lives of people, both operators and startups applaud in unison!

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