Tiruvallur police win Skoch Award for response to pandemic

Praised for installing a device aimed at ensuring distancing

December 19, 2020 01:43 am | Updated 01:43 am IST - CHENNAI

The Tiruvallur district police won the Skoch Award for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The award was in recognition of the instant responder to improve social distancing (IRIS), a sensor-based device, installed at the Thirumazhisai temporary vegetable market.

Superintendent of Police P. Aravindhan wrote on Twitter on Friday, “Happy to share that Tiruvallur district police have won the Skoch award in response to Covid pandemic category. Instant responder to improve social distancing (IRIS) which was used in Thirumazhisai temporary vegetable market has won the award. Thank you everyone for the support.”

The device was developed by P.R. Rajesh Kumar and M. Sakthi, engineers of Global Thermal Control System Private Limited.

“The device studies the distance between two bodies. and if it is less than 2.5 feet, a voice message will ask them to stand apart. If more than four people stand close together, the alarm will be louder,” Mr. Aravindhan said.

The device was Artificial Intelligence incorporated into a smart phone. It comprises a smart phone and a speaker. The phone uses a motion-image recognition programme to identify the distance between two persons. If it is less than 2.5 feet, it will set off an alarm. A video will also be recorded, and the beat police officer can monitor the footage from his/her phone. The recording can be used by officers whenever they want.

Mr. Aravindhan said four such devices were installed, including the one at a supermarket at Tiruvallur. Those installed at the Thirumazhisai vegetable market were not needed as the crowd had come down after the Koyambedu market reopened. “The one at the supermarket still functions,” he said.

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