Seiko Epson Corporation (TSE: 6724, "Epson") today announced that an Epson sensing system was used in a project in the Japanese city of Shiojiri that was part of a larger information and communications technology-based urban planning and monitoring research project sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Looking to use a sensor network in an effort to improve urban safety, Shiojiri in April installed and began testing Epson accelerometers and inclinometers on five bridges and five hillsides.
Many of the buildings, bridges, and tunnels and much of the other social infrastructure in Japan's cities were constructed between the mid-1950s and early 1970s. As these structures age, they need to be properly maintained and monitored in order to control repair costs and prolong their service lives. There is also an urgent need to develop measures to avoid landslide disasters triggered by typhoons and torrential downpours. However, the worry is that with so few inspectors to monitor and visually inspect the enormous number of structures and potential landslide zones, data collection will take a huge amount of time. To address this situation, city engineers are looking to install sensing (measurement) systems that can continuously monitor and rapidly assess the state of infrastructure and hazard zones.
The tests conducted in Shiojiri were designed to do just this. A sensing system built around Epson's highly accurate and stable accelerometers and inclinometers were used to monitor the state of bridges and hillsides. The data collected by the system was sent at regular intervals back to the city over a wireless network. Commenting on the test, Shiojiri Mayor Toshiyuki Oguchi said, "The data collected by Epson's sensing system was extremely accurate. I am convinced that sensor technology will contribute to the safety of our towns and cities."
Given the social imperatives and rapid pace of technological change, Epson believes that the need for precision sensors that can make previously invisible information visible will only grow going forward. Epson will continue to leverage its unique technology to provide sensing systems that significantly contribute to our customers' products and services.