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Opportunities and risks of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) from a safety point of view

Project number: F 2322 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Status: Completed Project


The use of autonomous miniaturized electronic systems is increasing rapidly in the area of security technology. This combination of Ambient Intelligence and security technology can already be found in many practical applications. Examples are RFID-equipped personal protective equipment, area protection with body-worn RFID-transmitters or systems for personal identification as well as management of maintenance activities using data collection and storage. Besides enhancing the effectiveness and flexibility, an increase in operational safety can be achieved. The thus developed AmI-based security systems provide a new form of security technology.

Besides the obvious benefits and basic potentials of these technologies, the associated risks have to be examined and the limits of applicability to be determined. This project bundle outlines three basic areas of activity, that are examining the fundamental opportunities and risks of these new systems and the requirements for AmI-enabling technologies. Furthermore, future application fields of AmI-based security technology and job assistance will be evaluated.

The first project focused on the holistic risk assessment of AmI-based security technology. The aim was to clarify whether there are new endangerments through the use of these technologies and how these can be assessed. In addition, the security of ambient systems themselves were evaluated using case examples. It was examined how far such solutions bring a real gain in security in comparison with inherently safe design.

The second project focused on the identification and assessment of operating conditions and applications for the outstanding key technology of person recognition. Based on laboratory testing, cooperation with researchers and manufacturers of these systems and a derived technology-application-array, a security-requirement based operations-concept for person recognition systems was developed. Thus, the possibilities of application can be shown for basically distinguishable technologies.

Third, the potential of AmI to assess and limit endangerments in the design and development phase of work equipment were worked out.

In the project, a market study (Subproject 1) examined which CAD systems are primarily used in SMEs specializing in mechanical engineering. The systems primarily used were then to be analyzed in terms of software (Subproject 2). The aim was to develop an additional module as a prototype or demonstrator, with which the risk assessment and risk reduction in product development can already be carried out on the virtual model of the future product (in this case, for machines) (Subproject 3). Subproject 3 was not implemented as part of the project bundle.


Unit 2.4 "Workplaces, Safety of Machinery, Operational Safety"

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