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IVR Application in mission critical operation

The other day, I was discussing with Jarek of Ositron, my good friend from Poland, and he informed me about very interesting IVR application to be used in mining industry! Basically it is a simple outbound IVR application, but it can be very useful in automatic monitoring of miners working underground and alert.

IVR in Safety application

With fresh from the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days, this IVR application can at least raise an alarm in time!

How does it work ?
It is a simple outbound IVR applicaion which will dial every miner once in every 5 minutes. The miner does not have to do anything, but just pick the call once. IVR system will know miner is well and hearty. But if the miner does not answer the call from IVR, the IVR application would again call him n 2 minutes, then also if there is no reply from him, IVR would raise an alarm for human intervention immediately.

A complete system may work as follows :-

1. When ever a miner goes to work, he would punch attendance which IVR will record and start calling him periodically.

2. When a miner comes out, he will log his departure and IVR will no longer make the outbound calls to him.

3. When a miner is unable to respond in the first call, IVR will call him within 2 minutes and would repeat for 2/3 times. After that, IVR will raise an alarm.

4. When IVR raises an alarm, it can check with other miners to get information about the miner who is not responding.

This is a simple outbound IVR but it can be very interesting application of IVR system in real life, mission critical operation. Anything may happen while a miner is working alone under ground. But regular and periodic monitoring by IVR may help prevent any unwanted incident and avoid human life loss with timely intervention.

Apart from mining, there are deep well where people work under ground using radio communications. The same kind of IVR should be usable in such scenarios too.

With recent trappings of 33 miners under ground from 69 days in Chile should, safety of miners working underground would be more urgent and I hope IVR can contribute in automatic monitoring of miners.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • sangram October 17, 2010, 11:29 am

    Very nice and useful.

  • Bikram Barua October 17, 2010, 4:41 pm

    Sorry to say, but the idea may need some refinement as I can see some flaws as follows:
    1. Deep inside the mine, first of all, normal/commercial mobile operator’s signals will not reach. They have to rely on the Mining company’s wireless network inside the mine.

    2. Getting calls every 5 minutes will be very disruptive for their works. Moreover, their work mostly require involvement of both the hands.

    3. Miners generally DO NOT work alone… they go in groups… at least 4-5 at a time.

    4. They remain in contact with their surface control room anyway with their walkie-talkies on regular basis as required. On situations like that, for security reasons, they anyway need to report to control room on the walkie-talkies. In such case, why need another system?

  • Uttam Pegu October 17, 2010, 4:53 pm

    Thanks Bikram, for the useful feedback!

    The idea is basically making the “communication between miners and surface control room” automatic, periodic, timely without failure and recording every activity! Benefit of having IVR is, availability of huge computation capability in PCs there by making the call period configurable on the fly! It could be anything 5 min or 50 mins or whatever!

    Advantage of having a machine to do is, machines don’t tire, don’t go for breaks, performs as good in the morning as in the evening and works 24 hours a day! Of course it can not replace human intervention, but I hope it can surely augment.

    It is long time since I worked with radios, But I hope miners now a days use trunked radio system ( along with telephone patch) with with individual IDs which will make IVR to call individual member of miners to call individually.

  • rome 2 total war release date July 23, 2013, 2:55 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about IVR in Safety.

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