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Research Projects

RAISE - Robotic System for Air Quality Assessment in Industrial Environments

About this project

Project information

Projekt Status

In progress 2014 - 2017

Contact

Erik Schaffernicht

Research Subject

Research environments

RAISE is a collaborative project that will develop a system for dense monitoring of dust and hazardous gases in foundries. The proposed novel monitoring system combines, in a cost-efficient way, heterogeneous sensors in a network of static and mobile devices. Compared to current practice, which is to collect samples very sparsely and infrequently with measurement systems carried by workers, the RAISE system will enable deeper insights into the correlation between long-term exposure patterns and health issues of workers, specifically respiratory disorders and (lung) cancer. Accordingly, RAISE is highly relevant for the metallurgic sector that needs to respond to ever tighter emission regulations. In addition, the basic principles and methods developed will be applicable to other industrial scenarios in which dense gas monitoring in realistic indoor environments is necessary.

The major scientific contributions of RAISE are:

  1. introduction of a deployment procedure in which the environment is inspected with a mobile robot to support optimal placement of static
    sensors;
  2. a study of approaches to combine a dense network of low-cost with sparser, more expensive sensors in an efficient manner and tailored to specific industrial environments;
  3. an approach to combine static and mobile sensor nodes for which mobility can either be passive (when mounted on moving equipment in the foundries), fully controllable (when mounted on a robot), or semi-controllable (when mounted on a moving truck that can make suggestions to the driver);
  4. representations and algorithms to learn maps of dust, gas and wind distributions over prolonged periods of time from distributed in situ measurements;
  5. methods for sensor planning to find optimal positions for static sensors and to suggest preferable sensing locations to human drivers;
  6. novel methods for human exposure estimation that exploit the dense sampling capabilities of the RAISE system - these methods are also validated against simultaneous measurements carried out according to the methods currently employed by occupational hygienists.

RAISE builds upon significant, recent progress in the area of environmental monitoring supported by mobile robots. By developing the means to learn distribution maps in challenging industrial environments, to represent and interpret long-term models and to support mitigating counter-measures, RAISE complements ongoing cloud-based efforts to install large numbers of air pollution sensing devices in urban environments. The project's multidisciplinary consortium brings together the required expertise of two academic partners, the AASS Research Centre at Örebro University (artifical olfaction, statistical models, mobile robotics) and the Dept. of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Örebro University Hospital (occupational hygiene, current practice sampling), and two industrial partners from the Swedish steel industry, Vestascasting Guldsmetshyttan AB and Johnson Metall AB.

Research funding bodies

  • The Knowledge Foundation