FENPS (Fall Early Notice and Position System) is a joint project that allows early warning for disorientation or fall of elders and dependents. A warning on any of its devices will be sent to relatives, institutions or associations concerned about their well-being. Such devices will be developed to detect problems and report incidents through a wireless network specifically designed for the Internet of Things (IoT) due to its ease of installation, coverage area and price. The platform will have vertical and horizontal growth capacity: vertical since it allows to incorporate devices that measure new parameters, and horizontal since it is very easy to increase its coverage area and ensure its replication in other areas.
Manufacturer: Automatización del Internet de las Cosas, SL (AlfaIoT)
AlfaIoT is a developer and integrator of technology in the area of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The company promotes the implantation of this type of technologies, together with the new standards of Industry 4.0, mainly in agricultural activity. AlfaIoT is environmentally aware and aims to optimise resources, reduce the consumption of raw materials, the CO2 footprint and improve the population's quality of life. The company develops its own data management software incorporating neural networks and artificial intelligence specifically designed for each solution.
La Caja is a cultural non-profit association that aims to spread the maker culture, understood as a set of practices based on the "make it yourself" doctrine and the experimentation in the creative processes of manufacturing. They aim to connect creative, inventive and like-minded individuals, to favour the synergies and collaboration between them, and to promote and spread new technologies.
We are a team of people with a clear objective: to transform our local area and help people by facilitating the adoption of disruptive technologies. Although our journey as a company is not very long, our professional trajectories support us and our involvement with social initiative speaks for itself.
How did you get involved in the OpenMaker project?
Given our commitment to transform technological manufacturing in our area as well as to accelerate the adoption of disruptive technologies in society, you could say that we fully embrace the OpenMaker principles from the very beginning.
On a personal level, we have a close relationship with the maker movement and when we formed the company we wanted the maker culture to be reflected in our work. When the possibility of doing something with our friends from "La Caja Maker Space Salamanca" arose, their enthusiasm about the idea we decided to go for it with all our tenacity.
What are the main strengths and challenges of a maker-manufacturer partnership?
Makers are one of the most difficult client groups a company can have. They are people with great know-how, who want to squeeze a product to get 200% out of it. For us, as a company, it is very important to put our products at your disposal, to know your reactions, to evaluate the changes that you propose. As makers, having a nearby company that knows such needs and can generate commercial products from functional prototypes is an encouragement to explore new tools, products and synergies.
Dream big! What would be the greatest achievement for your project? What's the main challenge that stands on your way?
The metropolitan area of Salamanca is only 200 km2 with over 229,000 inhabitants. 26% of those people are over 65 years old, percentage that is expected to grow by 15% in the next 10 years. Approximately 18,600 of these people are in need of dependency services. Within this context, the goal is to make easy-to-carry device that gives greater freedom to all users without losing any functionality would be a great success. Given the targeted user of FENPS, the main challenge is to develop a solution that seniors want to use, something that is natural for them and not imposed.
What do you hope to get out of the OpenMaker experience?
We hope that this program will further strengthen the relationship we have with the maker community of Salamanca and expand connections with other associations throughout Europe. We also hope that it serves as a visibility platform, both for the company and for the makers of Salamanca, inviting people to approach makerspaces to learn and exchange knowledge. As a company, we aim to be the facilitator of new projects, so that we can help promote new developments and ideas, putting our talent and enthusiasm at the disposal of makers, and society in general. In this way, OpenMaker, and the idea behind it, is both a starting point and a guide to follow.
As part of the maker movement, do you have any funny story to share?
One of the first activities at “La Caja Maker Space” to show what we are capable to do consisted of a showroom in which, in addition to showcasing different prototypes, we gave away a 3D printed toy in exchange for a smile (“Imprimiendo Sonrisas” – Printing Smiles event) inspired by the Spanish RepRap Clone Wars Community. This quickly became a success and some children came back for more toys and smiles. We gave away more than 500 toys in exchange for 500 smiles and today some of those smiles have turned into young members of alfaIoT and “La Caja Maker Space”.