In the process of fighting a fire, it is very important to keep track of the locations of all involved firefighters in the interests of their safety. To this end, a team of researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany) is developing a compact wearable device measuring a few centimeters in size, which is attached to the boot.
When a firefighter is about to enter a building, the general information system records his position using GPS. Unfortunately, GPS inside buildings is very unstable, which compensates for the new device. It turns on at the entrance to the building, after which it begins to track the direction of movement and the distance traveled from the last point from which the GPS signal originated.
The main elements of the device are an accelerometer and a gyroscope, which measure speed and orientation in space. Measurement accuracy is enhanced by the ability to break each step into separate fragments. For example, the pushing leg breaks off the surface and, having made a forward movement, again touches the surface - these are several successive motor phases.
All information is transmitted wirelessly to a computer located outside the building. If one of the firefighters is unable to leave the building in time or lingers there for unknown reasons, his colleagues will know his exact location.
Scientists are also developing a wearable device that will work in tandem with the aforementioned tracker. It will be equipped with an infrared camera to create a 3D model of the space that surrounds the firefighter. As a result, those who are in charge of extinguishing the fire will have a clearer understanding of everything that happens inside the building.