Managing Director Charles Rickett comments: “One of our energy clients has been trialling the use of small, ruggedised, head-mounted computers for remote inspections of their energy installations, with considerable success and some surprising benefits.”
Even without the health, safety and travel restrictions imposed by Covid, these site inspections are challenging enough; they often require highly skilled technicians to operate in inclement conditions, in far-flung locations and with minimal communications facilities.
OUR CLIENT CAN NOW DEPLOY A SINGLE ENGINEER, EQUIPPED WITH A SPECIALIST HEADSET WITH EXTENDED BATTERY LIFE AND VOICE CONTROL
Until recently, inspectors had to print off a form and walk around a site with a pencil, pad and clipboard — often while tethered to an installation by a safety harness, working in torrential rain or sandstorms. They logged their observations and typed them into Excel when they returned to the office, before emailing the report to their command centre.
THE HEADSETS HAVE INBUILT STORAGE, SO THE ENGINEER CAN RUN THE INSPECTION WITHOUT BEING CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET
Once on site, an inspector simply dons the headset and states the application they wish to use to open a job reference, and then starts filling out a form using Voice-to-Text. The clever part here is that, in the absence of a mobile signal or Wi-Fi, these headsets have inbuilt storage, so the engineer can run the inspection without being connected to the internet, and when they return to the command centre or a wireless area, the inspection report can be automatically uploaded.
The device can be connected to Wi-Fi, even in an unsafe zone, as the unit is intrinsically safe (EX rated). The units can even be connected to mobile Wi-Fi hotspots mounted on vehicles and a USB dongle can be attached to the headset to give 3G coverage if there is no other signal available.