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Active Disaster Response System for a Smart Building

Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Douliou, Yunlin 64002, Taiwan
Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2014, 14(9), 17451-17470;
Received: 20 March 2014 / Revised: 11 September 2014 / Accepted: 11 September 2014 / Published: 18 September 2014
PDF [2723 KB, uploaded 18 September 2014]


Disaster warning and surveillance systems have been widely applied to help the public be aware of an emergency. However, existing warning systems are unable to cooperate with household appliances or embedded controllers; that is, they cannot provide enough time for preparedness and evacuation, especially for disasters like earthquakes. In addition, the existing warning and surveillance systems are not responsible for collecting sufficient information inside a building for relief workers to conduct a proper rescue action after a disaster happens. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a proof of concept prototype, named the active disaster response system (ADRS), which automatically performs emergency tasks when an earthquake happens. ADRS can interpret Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) messages, published by an official agency, and actuate embedded controllers to perform emergency tasks to respond to the alerts. Examples of emergency tasks include opening doors and windows and cutting off power lines and gas valves. In addition, ADRS can maintain a temporary network by utilizing the embedded controllers; hence, victims trapped inside a building are still able to post emergency messages if the original network is disconnected. We conducted a field trial to evaluate the effectiveness of ADRS after an earthquake happened. Our results show that compared to manually operating emergency tasks, ADRS can reduce the operation time by up to 15 s, which is long enough for people to get under sturdy furniture, or to evacuate from the third floor to the first floor, or to run more than 100 m. View Full-Text
Keywords: intelligent system; disaster preparedness; smart environment; automatic response system intelligent system; disaster preparedness; smart environment; automatic response system
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lin, C.-Y.; Chu, E.T.-H.; Ku, L.-W.; Liu, J.W.S. Active Disaster Response System for a Smart Building. Sensors 2014, 14, 17451-17470.

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