Cloudscape Labs

Smarter and safer on site

Cloudscape Labs has developed software that allows office and field workers to notify each other of hazards and track the progress of the project, ensuring it is as safe and efficient as possible.

General manager Jeff Tait says the software uses imagery captured by drones and overlays that with relevant safety and productivity information – all on an employee’s smartphone.

“It’s like Google Maps on steroids. You can have a look at the latest earthworks on a project and see how much work is getting done. On top of that you can overlay a model of what they’re trying to build to give context to the drone imagery. “

Site and safety managers can identify areas staff are not allowed to enter, such as an area of cultural importance like a burial ground, or where the ground may be unstable.

Jeff previously managed a business that made systems for fertiliser spreading trucks, and was inspired to develop the safety software after a truck driver died when his truck rolled.

“In my previous job I wanted to come up with some way to track if the trucks had rolled over and then send an alert out. In one situation a truck had rolled and the driver was pinned for two hours before anyone noticed he was missing. If there had been a notification sent, someone could have got to him in that golden first hour and the result could have been quite different.”

Cloudscape Labs is able to use the wide range of sensors built into smartphones to gather information, including when people are in trouble, Jeff says. It is working on a solution that uses a smartphone’s accelerometer to detect acceleration events that might indicate a “man down” situation, sending out an alert to relevant people.

Jeff says the software is currently being used by a large overseas construction group, and Cloudscape Labs is now partnering with some New Zealand construction firms.

While the safety gains the software delivers are hard to measure, the productivity gains have been quantified by its overseas customer to be between $3000 and $5000 a day, he says.

“We’re able to answer a lot of questions from a productivity perspective. We don’t just capture the data, we analyse it and put together a productivity picture so they can make intelligent decisions.  For example, for a large concrete paving operation we have developed a way to manage driver fatigue, to meet a national standard in Australia.  This has resulted in fewer trucks working but record volumes of concrete being laid each day, all the while ensuring the drivers are not getting tired.”

The software is highly-customisable, Jeff says. “We find out the challenges they are facing in their business and then we fit our solution to their operation, in ways they can relate to and understand.”

Moore Stephens Markhams advisor Andrew Brady is an enthusiastic supporter of the fledgling firm but also brings a cool and experienced head to the table. “He loves great ideas and gets really passionate about them but he also brings a commonsense approach and will ask the questions an entrepreneur might not think to ask.

“He’s not an accountant, he’s an advisor. He helps us with financial decisions but also helps us with our business direction.”

The start-up plans to keep developing its software in partnership with its foundation customers, before making it widely available to construction firms around the world.

While a global roll call of customers is high on the wish list, saving a life would be a much sweeter reward, Jeff says.

“Even if our efforts don’t directly result in saving a life we know our solution already keeps staff better informed of hazards and lets managers rest a bit easier, knowing they are doing their part to keep staff safe.”

Serious about your success?