Mar 11, 2021

Powered by deep tech HelixSense disrupts asset management

Laura V. Garcia
3 min
Powered by deep tech HelixSense disrupts asset management
Powered by deep tech, HelixSense is disrupting asset management and delivering optimisation across the enterprise...

Arul C.T, founder and CEO of HelixSense, holds more than 25 years of global experience in automation and venture exits calls HelixSense a “disruptive digital transformation company”. HelixSense aims to leverage technology and literally disrupt and reimagine how companies manage their assets.

Helixsense’s very own platform “Hsense” integrates people, processes and technologies. Arul describes the entire digital asset management process using four simple words -Connect, Compute, Monitor, Control and a four-step process to bring digital transformation. 

The process consists of IT-OT integration where “big data” is collected by connecting IT databases and building management systems to “HSense,” integration of people with process standards such as ISO55K and SMRP practices, analytics and AI with structured, relevant and auditable data. AI-powered reports alert on trends and predictions providing actionable insights.

Finally, the Asset digital twin brings the Cobot- A collaboration robot with AI to assist managers virtually. Arul calls this a “connected asset.” The platform eventually becomes a digital twin of the manager himself. “This, however, is only one of the many digital twins that we are creating at Helixsense,” he says.

Another game-changer is Helix’s R-FIT IOT ready to fit technology which accelerates transformation, creating Return on Investment (ROI) from the start.

Combining the Internet of Things (IoT) and operation technology, HelixSense’s Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) replaces traditionally siloed functions with a fully integrated digital ecosystem that leverages data for the betterment of all stakeholders, resulting in accurate, risk-free, reliable, repeatable and cost-optimised operation by providing predictive and collaborative analytics.

  1. Integrated Facility Management
  2. “We offer Integrated Facility Management platforms (IFM) such as HSense, Hspace and sensors, bringing the value of digital transformation to asset management and maintenance,” says Arul.

HelixSense provides stakeholders with real-time insights on assets, allowing one to take a proactive stance and mitigate risks with data-driven decision making that extends the life cycle of assets and improves returns.

Using unique edge analysers, the HSense platform collects data from assets and makes them self-reporting.” Using the cloud only for secondary analytics, “HSense” orchestrates digital asset management, while following maintenance standards and allowing for highly reliable risk mitigation. 

  1. Digital Twins

“A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical object. In the case of building construction, a digital twin can tell you how to build, help you collaborate between stakeholders and assist you in maintaining and managing with optimum efficiency. We are currently building a number of digital twins (cobots) to assist managers and technicians in using virtual reality. Our digital twins can also provide reports and prescribe risk mitigation actions. 

“HelixSense partners with NTT Global Sourcing on their transformation road map. NTT supports us with an extensive global customer base. We collaborate to create new joint revenue models for our customers,” says Arul.

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Jun 14, 2021

Amazon tests new technology to improve employee safety

Technology
Amazon
robots
Innovation
3 min
Amazon is testing new technologies in an effort to make handling packages safer for employees

At the Amazon Robotics and Advanced Technology labs in Boston, and Northern Italy, team members are testing and developing new technologies in order to help to make employees’ jobs safer, these include technologies that help move carts and packages through Amazon facilities.

Recently the safety of Amazon's warehouses has drawn scrutiny. On June 1, the Washington Post's Jay Greene and Chris Alcantara published findings from an analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Administration data showing Amazon's serious injury rates are nearly double those at other companies' facilities.

A spokesperson from Amazon said the company spent more than $1 billion last year on safety measures, and hired more than 6,200 employees to a group dedicated to workplace health and safety.

Motion-capture technology

One innovation being tested by Amazon, which is in early development, is the use of motion-capture technology to assess the movement of volunteer employees in a lab setting. These employees perform tasks that are common in many Amazon facilities, such as the movement of totes, which carry products through robotic fulfillment centers.

The motion-capture software enables Amazon scientists and researchers to more accurately compare data captured in a lab environment to industry standards rather than other modelling tools traditionally used by ergonomists.

“With this data, visualisations, and employee feedback, we are looking to identify relatively simple changes that can make a big impact,” said Kevin Keck, worldwide director of Advanced Technology at Amazon. “Something as simple as changing the position of handles on totes may help lower the risk of injuries to our employees at a massive scale.”

Autonomous Robots creating new paths to safety

In order to reduce the need for employees to reach up or bend down when retrieving items, Amazon is testing a new workstation system called “Ernie.” According to the company Ernie takes totes off of a robotic shelf and uses a robotic arm to deliver it to employees, so they can remain in a more comfortable and stable position.

“We’re known for being passionate about innovating for customers, but being able to innovate with robotics for our employees is something that gives me an extra kick of motivation each day,” said Keck. “The innovation with a robot like Ernie is interesting because while it doesn’t make the process go any faster, we’re optimistic, based on our testing, it can make our facilities safer for employees.”

“Bert” is one of Amazon’s first Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), and is being tested to autonomously navigate through facilities with Amazon-developed advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology. In the future, it is thought that an employee would be able to summon Bert to carry items across a facility. 

‘Scooter’ and ‘Kermit’ are two other robots that also operate autonomously, and are both transport cars. The carts are used to carry empty totes and packages through our facilities. 

In a blog post the company said: ‘By having Autonomously Guided Carts (AGCs) like Scooter and Kermit perform physical tasks, we believe we can make our facilities safer and enable our employees to focus on jobs that require their critical thinking skills. In addition, using an AGC like Scooter to pull carts through our facilities reduces the risk of strains on our employees, or even collisions. We currently plan to deploy Scooter to at least one Amazon facility this year.’ 

Amazon began using robotics in its facilities in 2012, and since then they have added more than 1 million jobs worldwide while simultaneously deploying 350,000 mobile drive unit robots. 

“The role robotics and advanced technology can play in not only innovating for customers, but helping make our facilities safer, is a massive motivation for me and my team,” said Keck. “The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority. By listening to them, innovating on their behalf, and driving new technologies into our facilities over the coming months and years, I’m confident we’ll make a big contribution to our goal of reducing recordable incidents by 50% by 2025.”

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