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The SafetySense: A Remote Control Poised to Revolutionize the Construction Industry

For many, it’s been all too easy to write off video-gamers as wasting their time. How could the successful retrieval of the Sword of a Thousand Truths land a guy a job? Why would countless hours of Diablo II make for a promising new hire? Yet hand-eye coordination skills stand to benefit from gaming in moderation.

Back in 2007, a study by the American Medical Association (AMA) found that surgeons who played video games for three or more hours a week were 37 percent less likely to make errors. Other studies have proven that a childhood of gaming makes for a more adept pilot. What’s more, our professional world is evolving to include more remote controls. In aviation, drones require grounded pilots handy with a remote and an eye to the sky. The construction industry, too, is following suit. This week, Humanistic Robotics (a robot design company) announced the development of the new SafetySense controller.

The controller is wireless, waterproof and weightless. It also illustrates a marked improvement on current construction remote controls, which, until now, have not been wireless, necessitating a long, ugly cable tether. Such (now-outdated) controls are said to be large, boxy and over-complex, presenting a significant learning curve to the new handler. Not so for the SafetySense, which gamers will recognize as resembling the X-Box remote control — only cooler. Safety is at the heart of the control’s utility.

Handlers can now stand out of harm’s way while they operate remarkably large equipment, enjoying the advantage of a 360-degree view. Versatility, too, is central, as the remote can be reconfigured to operate an array of machinery. Though still in its development stages, the buzz around the SafetySense is a promising prelude to a device designed to lower injuries and fatalities in a trade all too rife with tragedy. Advocates also point out that the SafetySense can hope to speed up construction projects, as well.

Though not yet released onto the market, proponents promise the new control will soon be available. As for hopeful operators of the SafetySense — you can bet that gamers will have the edge.

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