Objectives of the service
BePI is a complete and flexible health and security service designed to provide customers the ability to map the health of a population, control people flow and coordinate security operations.
The service provides a unique mix of monitoring and intervention capabilities, which make it ideally suited to survey new possible Covid-19 outbreaks and enforce safety both outdoors and indoors.
BePI can also offer telemedicine capabilities in remote areas, thanks to off-road rovers achieving a daily distance of around 60km and a satellite communication backup connection.
Key advantages of the BePI service are:
- The ability to map flow of people and analyse people remotely
- The ability to generate valuable information about people, such as body temperature, heart rate or whether they are wearing a mask or not.
- Remote sensing rovers that protect the operators, still providing a direct audio/video channel and, eventually, communication with police
Users and their needs
BePI targets private and public actors involved in managing and controlling people, health and security operations. These include:
- Private Companies/ Event organizers/ Service providers (e.g. supermarkets, factories, post offices, universities, sport clubs) that need to implement safety protocols to monitor people’s health. Generally, this can be done with a fever check operator at a gate; this is however difficult and costly, especially for large, open-access spaces where fast automated and ubiquitous/diffused checks would be preferred (e.g. at open events, the possibility to monitor people flow on wide areas, could reduce or avoid the use of gates to monitor the entrance of people, reducing crowd formation).
- Public and private health institutions that need a high level of risk control on health and security operations involving, for example, those sites, rooms and spaces (e.g. field hospitals) where patients or potentially COVID-19 positive persons get in touch with the medical staff.
- Public and private health institutions with the need to provide health and telemedicine services to remote and/or hardly accessible sites covering, for example, follow-ups of people living in remote areas without access to wired internet access.
- Public Security Bodies: all the organizations and related actions, strategies and infrastructure that guarantee the security of citizens. The possibility to gather real-time information about people flow often proves critical in providing timely intervention capability; for example, during COVID-19, the misuse of masks or unintentional gatherings have emerged.
- Epidemic (e.g. virologists, epidemiologists), economic or sociological researchers that need to study fluxes of people and their characteristics, e.g. to calculate possible infection spread.
Service/ system concept
The video shows the first integration on the first version of the CMC-Brave Rover of a simple fewer sensor and the UAV able to use Artificial Intelligence algorithms to enumerate people.
GCS: Ground Control Station (for piloting the Unmanned Air Vehicles - UAVs)
UAV: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drones) “DISCOVERY-TRN” by RPS Aerospace
ROVER: Unmanned Ground Vehicle (ground robot) “CMC-Brave” by RPS AEROSPACE
JP-Point: Base for UAVs and Rovers
The scheme describes the cooperation between each single block of the whole infrastructure. The core is represented by the Rover, which patrols the area under investigation and anonymously checks the body parameters.
Drones and ground robots are able collect up to 10 images per minute of either the flow of people or individual subjects and, for target subjects, to take measurements such as body temperature, mask presence or heart rate which help characterizing the flow of people; this data is then transmitted in real time to the control room provided for the decision maker (e.g. a police officer, a COVID-19 task force in big companies) via mobile communication with satellite communication backup.
The power of BePi infrastructure is that the decision maker can be configured and can change for each specific service, be it inside the Mondialpol Control Room, in a Police office or directly on site. All data are processed and stored on a proprietary and dedicated server, where Volta artificial intelligence algorithms process the images anonymously to detect the desired triggers (i.e. masks, distancing, fever).
Police bodies can access raw data in case of critical situations (e.g. risk of spreading of COVID-19 infections), using if necessary 4G communication with rovers to interact with people on site, as in a normal police check.
Space Added Value
The entire BePI infrastructure relies on satellite communication and satellite navigation:
Satellite communications via an IRIDIUM module allows a cheap and robust remote control and data reception of the rover when the terrestrial mobile connection gets lost.
The screen capture below shows the simple and reliable communication interface which can be used by a remote pilot to send commands to the Rover. The implementation of satellite communication improves the vehicle’s reliability, ensuring the recovery of the rover also if terrestrial communication is lost. The safety towards people around the vehicle is enhanced by the possibility to terminate any vehicle manoeuvre also by satellite communication.
Satellite navigation, in particular Galileo, is used to provide high precision positioning capability for the aircraft and rover. Even in case of connection loss (momentarily or for minutes), thanks to the satellite navigation, the autonomous navigation capabilities of aircraft and rover enable a safe autonomous engagement of emergency procedures, like coming back to the nearest drone port or other pre-planned paths.
Currently, the technology has been deployed and tested on a subset of users including several Italian cities and a private nursing home.
The five promoter and official end-users of the BePI testing are engaged in different kind of COVID-19 prevention application are individuated on public municipalities, which are the mayor interested partners at the beginning of Covid-19.
During development activities, the BePI consortium has provided services under preliminary loan agreement to the private customers asking for a combined service with aerial and ground robot for COVID-19 (daily) and security (night) monitoring.
The image below shows a test conducted daily on a medical research site, where COVID-19 samples were present.
The Factory Acceptance Test successfully demonstrated the infrastructure in BePI configuration. It is planned to test the system in the municipalities in public places in line with applicable law.