Idaho Patent of the Month – June 2021

Setting up, repairing, or removing a power system can be a very dangerous task. There are safety regulations and practices designed to prevent accidents but these are not full proof. In recent years, there is a reported annual death toll above 130 in the US pertaining to electricity related deaths. Some methods used to offer protection include devices that warn of a high voltage risk – but these are bulky and sometimes get in the way. In addition, most existing devices can only track a single hazard at a time. Safeguard Equipment has developed an improved warning device to try and better protect these workers.

Their system is easily clipped to the brim of a hat or other locations on the user. It detects any energized conductors by converting an analog signal into a digital signal. It is programmed to detect high voltage carrying conductors at greater distances than low voltage conductors, creating a more comprehensive safety detection. It subsequently sends a safety alert to the user, specifying the presence and location of the hazard. To evaluate the location of the hazard, the device first determines it’s own absolute orientation using the earth’s magnetic field – like a compass. The hazard is then detected relative to the device’s orientation and can convey this information either through indicating LEDs or audio alerts that increase as they turn to face the hazard. Through the detection of multiple hazard locations and intensities, the device better alerts and prepares workers of danger.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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