Prometeo develops artificial intelligence platform to monitor firefighters' health ZDNet


Barcelona-based startup Prometeo has developed an AI-based cognitive health monitoring platform in hope that one day it will be used to monitor the health of firefighters while they are out battling brutal wildfires. Co-founder Salome Valero explained the development of the platform came about following concerns that were raised by one of their own team members who is a veteran firefighter. "When the firefighters are fighting against fire, they are breathing in a lot of toxins which can be dangerous for their health … and some of the immediate effects they feel from breathing in smoke is getting headaches. But there is evidence they can suffer respiratory diseases, cancer, and stress disorders," she told ZDNet, during IBM Cloud Innovation Exchange in Sydney last week. "The problem is there currently isn't a lot of data about firefighters' vitals, but because we have this real-time capability, we are will be able to monitor them."

DeStress: Deep Learning for Unsupervised Identification of Mental Stress in Firefighters from Heart-rate Variability (HRV) Data Machine Learning

--In this work we perform a study of various unsupervised methods to identify mental stress in firefighter trainees based on unlabeled heart rate variability data. We collect RR interval time series data from nearly 100 firefighter trainees that participated in a drill. We explore and compare three methods in order to perform unsupervised stress detection: 1) traditional K-Means clustering with engineered time and frequency domain features 2) convolutional autoencoders and 3) long short-term memory (LSTM) autoencoders, both trained on the raw RRI measurements combined with DBSCAN clustering and K-Nearest- Neighbors classification. We demonstrate that K-Means combined with engineered features is unable to capture meaningful structure within the data. On the other hand, convolutional and LSTM autoencoders tend to extract varying structure from the data pointing to different clusters with different sizes of clusters. We attempt at identifying the true stressed and normal clusters using the HRV markers of mental stress reported in the literature. We demonstrate that the clusters produced by the convolutional autoencoders consistently and successfully stratify stressed versus normal samples, as validated by several established physiological stress markers such as RMSSD, Max-HR, Mean-HR and LF-HF ratio. It is known that when an individual is exposed to a stressor, the autonomic nervous (ANS) system is triggered resulting in the suppression of the parasympathetic nervous system and the activation of sympathetic nervous system [2].

IBM announces 2019 Call For Code grand prize winner


IBM today announced the 2019 Call for Code grand prize was awarded to Prometeo for developing a health monitoring platform for firefighters. The Barcelona-based team consisting of a nurse, a firefighter, and three developers will receive $200,000 and assistance from IBM and its partners to bring the project to life. TNW's finance, blockchain, and business event is coming up soon Promoteo began as an endeavor by firefighter Joan Herrera. Realizing there were no systems in place to monitor the health of firefighters combating wildfires, Herrera and nurse Vicenç Padró began collecting data by hand. Eventually, they joined forces with three IT professionals, Salomé Valero, Josep Ràfols, and Marco Rodriguez, and the team joined the Call For Code challenge.

Data Interpretation Support in Rescue Operations: Application for French Firefighters Artificial Intelligence

--This work aims at developing a system that supports French firefighters in data interpretation during rescue operations. An application ontology is proposed based on existing crisis management ones and operational expertise collection. After that, a knowledge-based system will be developed and integrated in firefighters' environment. Our first studies are shown in this paper. Rescue of people consists in saving their life in case of distress situations by applying responsive operations. In France, it is defined as specific tasks to be accomplished by public services in order to ensure the safety of patients and victims by making them able to escape from dangers, securing intervention sites, providing medical help, and finally, ensuring the evacuation to an appropriate place of reception [1].

IBM Names 5 Finalists in 2019 Call for Code Challenge


AsTeR (Europe) – During natural disasters, emergency call centers are overwhelmed and lack the human resources to deal with the sudden uptick in calls. Project AsTeR helps prioritize these calls based on their level of emergency. Instead of being directly connected to an operator, victims are asked to briefly explain their emergency over the phone. Their responses are then converted to text and analyzed to extract key information, such as the number of victims, type of emergency and location. AsTeR then provides first responders with a map identifying areas with high levels of emergency based on the number of people involved and the type of injuries.

Japan to train drone specialists for disaster response

The Japan Times

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency will train firefighters to operate drones in an attempt to promote the use of drone technology in disaster response efforts. The agency will offer firefighters from across the country a training course from the second half of fiscal 2019, awarding those who have completed the course the role of "drone operation adviser." It plans to train a total of 135 personnel by fiscal 2023, and dispatch them as instructors to fire departments that have yet to introduce drone technology. Drones are anticipated to play a key role in reaching places that cannot be reached by firefighters and helicopters. For example, a drone fitted with a thermographic camera can identify sources of fire and give a clearer picture of the damage in large-scale fires.

How 5G can save lives


AR and thermal imaging in the Qwake C-Thru mask could help firefighters better navigate burning buildings. With smoke, flames and a claustrophobic mask on, running into a burning building is a leap of faith. Firefighters are taught never to leave the wall, because they could become disoriented, run out of air and die. "The way we used to look for people was almost as if you were blind," said Harold Schapelhouman, fire chief of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. That could change with technology like Qwake's C-Thru.

Lightweight 'human exosuit' could helps people move easily and lift heavy objects

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A revolutionary lightweight exosuit that makes walking and running easier has been developed. Scientists say their pioneering design - weighing just five kilos (11 lbs) - could be worn by soldiers, firefighters or rescue workers. They say it could help keep them fresh by lightening the load of their jobs and assist them in negotiating difficult terrain. The portable gear may also improve mobility and quality of life for the elderly and people suffering from neurodegenerative disorders. A revolutionary lightweight exosuit (pictured) that makes walking and running easier has been developed.

Inventions we use every day that were actually created for space exploration

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Despite sending humans to Earth's orbit and the moon, the idea of humans surviving in outer space must seem like science fiction. Creating an environment that can sustain human life in the almost total absence of gravity, as well as no electrical outlets or oxygen, takes a lot of experimentation. That's been the job of teams of dedicated scientists who have facilitated some of the most unforgettable moments in space exploration. We compiled 30 common items that were invented for use in the race for space.

Paris Firefighters Used This Remote-Controlled Robot to Extinguish the Notre Dame Blaze

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

The Paris Fire Brigade has seen its share of logistical challenges, but the massive conflagration that consumed parts of the Notre Dame cathedral on the night of 15 April required a fight of epic proportions. The cathedral is 856 years old and built in a style that makes it almost structurally impossible to contain a fire. The site doubles as both a wildly popular tourist attraction and a holy site for Christians. Defending this symbol of French heritage would require all the tactical and physical power the Brigade had at its disposal--human and otherwise. Soon after firefighters arrived at the scene, the cathedral's giant spire began to show signs of collapsing into the building.