Harnessing the functionality of advanced AI via mobile apps, a mature cloud, and modern networks makes setting up the VIA Mobile360 Forklift Safety System simple.
Timing Is Everything
AI’s commercial moment in the sun is underway, but it’s certainly standing on the shoulders of more mature technologies that have made its success possible. Providing a solid base of robust functionality and perhaps most importantly familiarity, rugged hardware, cloud connectivity, mobile apps, and networks all quietly play their part in making it easy to add AI smarts to forklifts in the workplace. They allow warehouse safety solutions like the VIA Mobile360 Forklift Safety System to shine with clear stand-alone benefits when detecting people or undesired operator behaviors.
There’s a Mobile APP for That
In a world where the simple act of swiping right on a mobile app might help solve a complex task such as finding the love of your life, it’s no surprise that mobile app user interfaces can be designed to easily calibrate the hardware functionality of your AI-based forklift safety solution.
The added ubiquity of powerful smartphones to host your app means that the ability to configure and adjust your smart forklift in the work environment at a vital moment can be in the hands of any employee or manager with a smartphone.
Apple and Google, as caretakers of not only the mobile operating systems we use, but also the eco-system of attendant mobile apps, have taken great pains to create design and user experience best practices for social media applications, messaging, dating and news apps that have harmonized mobile app interface elements. Smartphone users in 2022 know how and when to press, swipe, slide or toggle.
Managing and calibrating your AI-based forklift safety system via a familiar mobile app user interface not only helps simplify the experience but also goes a long way to demystifying working with AI and giving employees a greater sense of comfort and control.
Comfort and Control
The VIA Mobile360 WorkX app, for example, makes calibrating your forklift’s VIA Mobile360 Forklift Safety System camera sensor a snap. A prominent in-app video display is available so that you can see what the camera does and easily verify or modify the camera position and viewing angle when needed.
Thanks to high-quality camera hardware the view is clear and expansive but a simple tap in the WorkX app lets you select the boundaries of your AI detection within the video view. It’s likely that your forklift doesn’t need to be on high alert for people 100m away, but starting around 5m away is a reasonable distance to give enough reaction time for drivers. Setting your boundaries to 5m or 4m etc is a simple tap to select the appropriate distance for your workspace.
Is your warehouse floor crowded with inanimate objects, shelving or columns that aren’t people? A simple slider allows you to enhance your AI’s “People Detection Sensitivity” from lower to higher. It’s really that easy.
With your camera sensors set up, drivers can now begin to directly reap the benefits of AI-assisted safety performance. Setting up how you alert drivers to AI-detected potential threats and accidents is your next step. Not unlike with modern messaging apps, drivers can receive different types of audio and visual notifications depending on whether or not your system package includes a display for the forklift.
A driver fatigue alert that produces an audible warning will probably be more effective than a visual one. Does your operator only need alerts from rear view situations? Tap a toggle to enable them. Do they require audio notifications, visual notifications, or both? Tap to select your desired configuration. Do general warnings and critical warnings require different types of alerts? Tap, tap to set your decisions.
While setting up notifications is technically as simple as a few taps, special consideration needs to be given to your safety and productivity goals as they precisely relate to your specific work environment. You’ll need to experiment and note the real-world experience of what the system is detecting and how your drivers are reacting. Is your work environment too loud for sound alerts to make a meaningful impact? Perhaps a connected display unit for visual prompts is required. Does your forklift spend most of its active duty in reverse? A rear camera set up with the appropriate rear detection ranges and notifications might be a priority.
The Cloud Connection
Connecting your system to wi-fi is similar to connecting your phone to your home wi-fi network. Connecting the system to the cloud opens up a host of extended features and benefits. Driver safety data useful for calibration, authentication, insurance evidence, and training can be gathered and analyzed at scale, while the system can also collect more overall operational usage information that can aid with better understanding and prediction of equipment uptime, usability, and even inspection reports.
A deeper dive into the value of a cloud-connected forklift safety system is the subject of my next post.
This post was originally published on 16-06-2022 at The Future and Now of Materials Handling substack. Sign up for Tim Brown’s unique perspectives on how emerging technologies such as AI and the cloud have the potential to transform the industry.