Once again the little monkey Malpi was contracted to write a blog post for the INGENIOUS project! This time Lilou, Malpi’s owner, said that Mapli wants to travel to Spain. So she flew via Munich to Bilbao and a new adventure with the INGENIOUS partners began…

The 2nd round of Small Scale Tests (SSTs #10 – #18) was hosted by our partners in ERTZ at their facilities in Bilbao, Spain from 26 to 30 September 2022. The week of the SSTs was compressed from three originally planned weeks in different locations with testing in one in the same facilities to test the integration of the INGENIOUS Next Generation Integrated Toolkit (NGIT), and almost all tools were tested by End Users and integrated on site by the technical partners. The week also gave a good opportunity for partners to prepare and plan the final 2nd Full Scale Exercise (FSX) on November 10, 2022, which will hold both the 2nd INGENIOUS International Workshop on “Tools for the First Responder of the Future” (November 9, 2022, in hybrid mode) and a demonstration to external End Users of the capabilities of the different INGENIOUS tools and components.

Once on site, Malpi did not rest at all and eagerly helped set up posters, chairs and logistics on site.

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Old friend Bodo was unfortunately not on site to test the latest development for the INGENIOUS K9 Vest (developed by ICCS), however, there were plenty of new friends better suited than Malpi to try the vest on.

Malpi could instead concentrate on facilitating the room for the dogs to search in, by changing the different conditions as needed.

The heart of the INGENIOUS NGIT is the Common Operational Picture and Command, Control and Coordination System (COP/C3), developed by our partners in STWS. It aggregates and displays the different data produced by all the other INGENIOUS tools and components, which can be taken into account when making important decisions to protect First Responders (FRs) or handle the incident more effectively. Field communications (developed by ICCS) provide a holistic, resilient, reliable, secure multi-layer, multi-RF to interconnect all the components with the COP.

All the tools had made progress since the 1st Full Scale Exercise in Paris last May. And most of the End Users that Malpi interviewed agree that the project has done really well in terms of integrating and implementing the feedback provided. Everyone was still willing to work for the further improvement of the technologies even though the project ends in February 2023.

INGENIOUS Common Operational Picture and Command, Control and Coordination System (COP/C3)

Here you can see the pressure sensitive insole for boots (developed by CyRIC) that monitors the First Responders’ workload and health status, as well as the raw output that is sent to the Uniform (developed by TEK) and forwarded to the Fusion Engine (FE). All the information is translated into understandable output in the COP or the WOA (Worksite Operations App developed by EXUS). A special section in the COP is dedicated to the MOA (Multilingual Operations Application developed by UPF) and provides a bidirectional translation between the FR teams.

The Gas Sensor (developed by TUW and ALPES LASERS) has had difficulties during the project as it is based on a really novel technology that is not really ready to be implemented into manageable devices yet. Instead for a proof of concept, some of the shelf sensors have been modified to transmit information to the COP. This take on a gas sensing device is something that is a good product for FRs as the data can be interpreted offsite by experts and not only by the person at the front line that may not have the knowledge to translate all the data for a tactical decision. And as you can see the Hazmat coordinator from SBFF is excited about this approach.

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The improved Expert Reasoning System (developed by CERTH) was also tested. Specifically, the INGENIOUS partners tested the alert rules related to the gas levels, and the boots FR status.

The role of the Social Media App (developed by CERTH) was also very important in these tests. Alerts were sent through the app to the First Responders when the incident started and then provided more details and updates on the status of the incident.

Triage and Face Recognition of victims (developed by ICCS) were tested to set their status and identify the original picture prior to injury.

Malpis’ best firefighting friend Erica is testing the AR glasses (developed by CS GROUP) where information is geo positioned and tagged in real time at the incident both with the glasses and “at the other end”. New features are that one can talk and see the operator in the glasses for better communication as well as the possibility to denote and delete marked objects.

ITC tested their Ground Control Station (GCS), which was designed to integrate the data, and process image data to provide First Responders with enhanced situational awareness. ITC’s researchers used AI algorithms to generate semantic maps of a scene. Objects or building structures of interest to the FR were marked in different colors. GCS also ran detection algorithm on RGB images to help FR find victims.

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A semantic map of the scene

In addition to image analysis functionalities, GCS also tested the data communication with FE and COP.

Our partners in FOI are developing an autonomous indoor UAV called Multi-purpose Autonomous eXploring droneMAX. It has been built from scratch, has many sensors and can send different kinds of information to the COP. Here is the output of a successful flight measuring and showing obstacles and layout of an indoor environment. When testing it is important to monitor the voltage and other metrics to be able to see what went wrong if anything happens.

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Speaking of UAVs… Another drone of INGENIOUS, the Modular Aerial Camera System – Search and Rescue (MACS-SaR) (developed by DLR) had to be tested by Malpi as well. The MACS-SaR is a fixed wing UAV that sends autonomously in real time geo positioned pictures to the COP. These can then be analysed and overlaid for all other tools to display the position of tools and First Responders in relation to the incident rather than showing it on a “Google Map” image where everything is perfect and not destroyed as it could be on an earthquake for example.

The last INGENIOUS UAV is the Micro Indoor drones – MINs (developed by SINTEF). These small drones create an indoor positioning mesh by flying in and dropping to the ground creating an ad-hoc network so that a First Responder’s position can be viewed in the map created by MAX.

Also, IPS (the Integrated Position System developed by DLR) was tested during the SSTs to provide a map of the paths of the FRs who used this component.

Malpi is not only cute but knowledgeable in many things, here is some code adjustment advice when things don’t work as they should.

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Malpi is eager to make one last report from the last demonstration during the 2nd FSX that will be held at the same place in Iuretta outside Bilbao in November. Meantime, well back home, she is reading bedtime stories for her friend “Taxi” (that is a dachshund, he is friendly but a bit crazy and not suitable to bring along for testing of the K9 Vest).

Learn more about the INGENIOUS technologies by watching the dedicated videos on our YouTube Channel!

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