A new smart mining helmet by Canadian based Jannatec Technologies’ may revolutionise mine worker safety in mining through its’ smart capabilities. The helmet will serve as a connected device hub for hard rock miners and facilitates the collection of a range of data from the user.
It combines radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging, proximity detection, photography and video capabilities, and will soon integrate with biometric sensors and a cooling vest for mine workers.
“We try not to think of it as a helmet,” said Mark Burnett, an account representative with Jannatec. “We try to think of it as a platform that’s going to offer (mining) operations different capabilities and solutions that they may need to fit their unique problems, which is why it’s going to be a multi-faceted platform.”
Canadian based Jannatec has heavily in developing the technology, which is one half of a smart helmet/cooling vest combo.
The project is the company’s contribution to the Ultra-Deep Mining Network (UDMN), a Canadian based (Sudbury)-conceived initiative partnering private enterprise with the research community to find solutions to ultra-deep mining’s most pressing issues.
In its first phase, the helmet will be available with high-visibility LED lights and RFID tagging capabilities to help keep track of underground workers.
Later Jannatec will add a camera and the ability to connect to a mine’s proximity detection system. By its third iteration, the helmet will have more communications capabilities such as sending and receiving phone calls, photos, and videos.
The camera can be used to record underground incidents in real time, conduct compliance safety checks, or even assist a worker in identifying equipment breakdowns. A mine worker will be able to take a photo or video, transmit it to the surface, and an aboveground counterpart can look at the image to help find a solution
Mining companies will be able to tailor the helmet to their needs by choosing which functions they want in the device, and they can upgrade by simply swapping out the helmet’s brim for a newer version. Jannatec will also work with a company to solve its pain points.
The cooling jacket, which is still in the design phase, will monitor a worker’s biometrics, such as their temperature and heart rate, alerting them to potential heat stress and transmitting their information to surface, while simultaneously cooling down their body.
“We need something that can cool them and notify them when they’re going into that heat stress, so they know when to rest,” Ablitt said. “They can be more productive through their whole shift and they can work longer in the day.”
Eventually, all the data and biometrics information from the jacket will be worked into the helmet, and Jannatec anticipates making the device hands-free – everything will be done by voice command.
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