Almost a year ago we echoed a very interesting project that aims to create a device tactile biofeedback, that will change the paradigm of security in emergencies. Ana Belén Carballo and José Antonio Rodríguez told us about it in this interview.
SIXTHSENSE has been working for a year now so that in the near future emergency bodies can carry an intelligent sensor to ensure their health in extreme environments in real time through tactile biofeedback This intelligent sensor will allow at all times to detect and anticipate potentially dangerous situations to the health of the first responder.
The participants were equipped with the prototype SIXTHSENSE Alpha y with various sensors guidance on monitor various physiological variables and so can calculate thermophysiological stress supported by firefighters during testing. The data obtained were sent to the central station located in the command center, and were stored in the central server of the SIXTHSENSE project.
The tests were carried out by experts from the research group VALFIS of the University of León (ULE), with technical support from different partners of the consortium in charge of the design of the feedback (Tecnalia Servia, TECSR) and the recording of data (Global Electronic Solutions, GHG). During the assessment sessions, the firefighters also carried out different psychological tests administered by members of the Joanneum Research (JR) to determine cognitive impairment and correlate fatigue with firefighters' decision-making abilities.
In parallel, researchers from Tecnalia Servia (TECSR) made a psychometric study to investigate the codification of different modes of communication of critical information for firefighters through electrotactile feedback. Mountain rescuers (MRB) also participated in these tests together with the firefighters.
The evaluation sessions were combined with multiple technical meetings held between the developing partners of the different systems. Members participating in the WP7 took advantage of these meetings by being together with different officers from the command centers of different organizations that made it possible to carry out different co-development sessions of the command center control panel, developed by the Telegroup company (TG).
On the other hand, from the coordination of the project (Tecnalia, TEC) various bilateral meetings were organized to discuss possible ways to bring the project to the political ambitions of the SIXTHSENSE consortium. The information gathered greatly clarified the potential of each partner and will allow to create a realistic map for a future implementation of the project results.
Due to the very special circumstances under which this project has had to start, a consequence of the global pandemic produced by covid-19, this was the first in-person meeting that has been held between a large number of consortium partners. While the tests carried out were of great importance and very beneficial from a technical point of view, the experiences shared between the partners during these days were invaluable.
Although we will still have to wait to obtain the scientific results that emerge from the tests, after processing and analyzing all the data collected, it seems clear that an obvious result of these sessions was that the Rijeka fire brigade passed the hospitality test with flying colors. Between the experience of the firefighting instructors and the excellent facilities of the Šapjane Training Center, it seems clear that there is a enormous potential for the co-development of the technologies necessary for emergency bodies within and beyond the objective of the SIXTHSENSE project.