Season 14 Innovators
With his love for innovation and problem-solving sprouting since primary school, Abdulla Al-Marri always knew he wanted to become an innovator. The determined Qatari joined the workforce right after graduating from high school, committing himself to his dream as soon as he could.
When he was a project manager at RasGirtas Power Company (RGPC), Al-Marri immersed himself into the field of Mechanical Engineering, dedicating himself to learning as much as he can. The leadership at RGPC admired and recognized his potential and work ethic, rewarding his efforts by sponsoring his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. A few years later, Al-Marri went on to pursue a master’s degree in Business from Coventry University, U.K.
The aspiring innovator learnt about Stars of Science from one of his friends during preparatory school and was immediately intrigued by the show’s ability to identify and solve real-life problems. Al-Marri was eager to apply to Season 14 of Stars of Science, with his invention – the Vibration Communication Vest, to solve a pressing safety challenge.
About the Project
Workers in construction sites are prone to facing many injuries, their health and safety is at constant risk. While a crucial aspect of injury prevention is communication, the setting of construction sites usually makes it almost impossible for workers to communicate effectively. In the U.S.A. alone, more than 5,000 construction site workers died in 2019.
A construction site is a very challenging and stressful work environment and maintaining proper communication is incredibly vital at all times. A life-threatening situation can arise in seconds, and to bring attention to the harm, the inspector on site will blow a whistle to alarm the workers. It is highly important that the alarm is received and acknowledged by everyone on site, just in time.
Engineers, workers, and anyone on-site is required to wear protective gear from head-to-toe to limit for any possible injuries. One piece of the protective gear that is worn on-site is ear gear – making it really difficult to hear the inspector’s whistle. Moreover, for anyone on-site to be able to hear the whistle, they will need to remove the ear gear, which will subject them to ear injuries and hearing damage.
During his shift at work, Al-Marri witnessed a crane operator get injured due to inability to hear the whistle and lack of effortless communication. This incident encouraged him to find a better means of communication that does not rely solely on audio.
This is how the aspiring entrepreneur got the idea for the Vibration Communication Vest, which uses vibration on sensitive parts on the human upper body as means to communicate. The vest operates on the wrists, shoulders, stomach, and back.
The Qatari innovator’s vest is a two-way communication method where the inspector will use the app to alert the worker on site, and the worker will confirm receiving the alert. Each vibration location on the body signals a different code based on the desired type of messaging.
Al-Marri’s Vibration Communication Vest is an effective communication tool that could minimize and prevent injury on construction sites, in the region and the world. In the long term, the vest would allow workers to have a longer and safer career, which they can utilize in service to the community.
The vest is applicable to many other fields with high dependency on communication methods free of audio and visual means. It could introduce the people of the hearing and visually impaired community to a new means of communication. The vest can also aid public servants like police officers, civil defense officers, and firefighters during highly dangerous and hazardous environments.