Tracking system wins top award

Technology that could help save lives in fires, and that makes it harder to get lost at trade shows, has earned researchers at Cork Institute of Technology a major international prize.

Their radio localisation and tracking system was judged to be the most accurate of its type at CPSWeek in Berlin, where the systems submitted by eight other competitors proved less flexible and more expensive.

As well as securing a gold medal in its category, the work of CIT’s Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems Research was also awarded the second overall prize at the event.

The centre is creating 27 hi-tech research and development jobs this year, adding to 22 that were created last year, and is expanding activities in a range of technologies.

The Microsoft indoor localisation competition in Berlin compared the performance of real-time, or near real-time, indoor location technologies.

“Having the most accurate system allows the Nimbus Centre lead the way for commercialisation and explore further development on the technology in potential areas like fire-fighting, or other occupations where navigation indoors in difficult conditions and unfamiliar surroundings is important,” said head of the centre, Dirk Pesch.

The research is led by Martin Klepal and Christian Beder, and their technology could also be used in settings like busy exhibitions, where directions on a smartphone would direct users to a stand or event they with to visit.

The systems apply the principles of GPS navigation to indoor settings, and the technology used for the winning CIT project is already used to monitor movement of people and vehicles in airports. By combining video and radio-based sensing technologies, a key element is an advance warning system to prevent accidents between aircraft and support vehicles.

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