First responder Advanced technologies for Safe and efficient Emergency Response (FASTER) is a H2020 project aiming to help and protect first responders during their operations and enhance their capabilities in terms of situational awareness and communication.
FASTER’s main objective is twofold:
- to help and protect first responders during their operation
- to enhance their capabilities in terms of situational awareness and communication.
Towards these ends, FASTER is developing a set of hardware and software tools relevant to first responders and their operations. These include:
- UAV technologies: gesture control, swarm management, automated 2D mapping
- UGV technologies: autonomous navigation, thermal imaging, 3D mapping
- Situational awareness aids: AI scene analysis, extended vision from UAV cameras, tracking and localization of vehicles and personnel, health status tracking via smart textiles, local weather station
- Communication enhancements: 5G-enabled network, gesture communication via wearables, UAV communication relay, emergency message broadcast with a local relay
- Indoor navigation technologies: augmented reality navigation, building sensor visualization
- K-9 specific tools: smart collar, bark interpretation
- Security: Secure communications, distributed network of trust
- Management tools: portable common and control centre, mission management, quality of service monitoring
FASTER is directing the development of these technologies from design, research and implementation to their integration into a coherent, interconnected, tested and validated toolset that can make a tangible difference to first responders’ efficiency and safety.
User-centred design is a key aspect of the project, with research and development carried on in collaboration with first responders, so as to build the new tools around their needs and requirements. 8 first responder organizations from 7 EU countries are members of the FASTER consortium.
FASTER is testing and validating its tools and technologies in a series of international pilots in Spain, Italy and Finland, allowing the technical team to gather comments and suggestions to fine tune the project design and first responders to train with the FASTER tools. Each pilot is designed around an emergency response scenario and includes a different, but overlapping, mix of tools relevant to it.
The first phase of research, development and integration has been completed and tested in the first two pilots: in Madrid, on November 17, 2020 (a video summary can be viewed here); and in Moncalieri (close to Turin) on January 27, 2021 (a video summary will be available soon). The third pilot will take place in Kajaani, Finland on March 10, 2021. A second iteration of pilots is scheduled for all three sites over the next year, in order to test technology updates and upcoming improvements.
Read more about FASTER here.
As part of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, FASTER and the related projects ASSISTANCE, CURSOR, INTREPID, PathoCERT, RESPOND-A, RESPONDRONE, Search & Rescue, SIXTHSENSE and INGENIOUS have received funding under the same topic SU-DRS02-2018-2019-2020 to develop technologies for first responders.