ALARA, Jack and the Kinect

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Today's inspirational project, coming to us via Jon C. Arnold, yet again shows how the Kinect is being used in the real world, to solve real world problems and being used in unusual, but awesome, ways.

Microsoft Kinect Adds to Utility Health and Safety Record Performances with Partner Siemens

With the Olympic Games 2012 well underway in London, it’s a good time to take a step back and think about how technology impacts motion and our studies of continuous improvement. And we’ll do this because it ties in so nicely with a new video from our partner Siemens demonstrating their “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) software Tecnomatix Jack that’s being combined with Microsoft Kinect to assist utilities with their environment, health and safety procedures.


Well, take a look at this video from Siemens about how several software combinations – Siemens Tecnomatix Jack, Microsoft’s Kinect, and a radiation analysis tool from a third party – were combined to minimize the amount of time that mechanics and maintenance workers spend in the plant, exposed to radiation at nuclear power plants. All workers can wear protective clothing to help reduce some radiation penetration, but exposure still occurs. This being the case, the environmental health & safety goal becomes maximizing the speed at which tasks must be performed in the plant, and thereby minimizing the time exposed. In a gross analogy, swimming world records are much the same – motion simulating computer programs have maximized the value of every single stroke for each competitor to minimize their time swimming across the pool. They’ve planned and imitated the performance of each stroke countless times before entering the water for that Olympic race. The clothing factor does not matter.


For more technical details on the Tecnomatix Jack solutions click here and for a great blog on the technical integration of Kinect with Jack and its application to employees’ movements while doing maintenance, please click here.

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