Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow Developing Flying Inventory Robots To Keep Tabs On Your Stock

Inventories are a necessary evil that need to be carried out at least once a year. Despite their necessity, they are also tedious, time consuming, labor intensive, and often involve businesses shutting their doors for whole days as they count how many unsold widgets are in the back room.                      

Inventory RobotThe Fraunhofer Institute’s InventAIRy Project plans to change that by developing a new flying robotic drone that not only takes over the drudgery of stock taking, but also acts as a new tool for record keeping and streamlining warehouse operations.

Under the leadership of logistics specialist Marco Freund at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML in Dortmund, Germany, the InventAIRy Project aims to turn inventory work into as automatic an operation as synching a spreadsheet.

According to Fraunhofer, the InventAIRy system should not only be able to count the number of buttons and zippers on the shelves, but also reduce costs by eliminating recording errors, identifying bottlenecks in production, and keeping a running tally of the inventory.

Tips for Designing and Building Your Home with Security in Mind

No matter if you are planning to renovate your home, or building a brand new one, it is essential that you consider the security measures you can take to prevent home invasions and break-ins.

There are a number of different factors that can cause a home to be targeted by burglars, including the locks, doors, windows, lighting, fencing, landscaping and visibility. When you consider these things early in the planning and design stages of building a home can help to locate and target any weak spots in security and reduce the risk of a break in later on. Home Alarm

The first thing to understand when building a secure home is to know the crime rate in your area and what types of crimes are most common. Once you understand the highest crime rates, then you can find new ways to implement security to deter intruders.

A great starting point is to think like a would-be thief – if you were trying to break into your house, how easy would it be? The goal is to ensure your house is not attractive to intruders by adding features that make it hard to access.

Some security tips to consider when building or renovating your home include:

•    Position all balconies and second floor windows so they are not able to be accessed by climbing up external fixtures, such as trees, pipes or gutters.

•    Be sure that the front of the house and all of the primary access points can be seen from the street and that the area is well-lit.

•    Put a deadbolt lock on each door. The locks need to be positioned in a way so that they cannot be opened by breaking a nearby window.

•    Thieves are going to take the things they can see. Design your rooms and the power outlets so your expensive assets are not visible from outside.

•    Install a pre-wired security system, it is much more cost effective than having to retro-fit your home down the road. Additionally, systems that are hard wired are much more difficult for a thief to disable.

•    Place alarm panels next to the door and panic buttons near your bed.

When you plan the design of your home with security in mind, you, your family and your possessions will be safer.

Security Gadgets: The Next Level in Your Personal Protection

When it comes to your personal protection, is there anything that is “off limits?” The fact is that more and more devices are being invented and developed to enhance your safety and security.

Some of the hottest gadgets that are now available are highlighted here.
Pool Alarm
 Pool alarms. If you have a pool and children, this is a gadget that you should purchase right away.  This type of pool alarm will allow you to monitor the activity in the swimming pool, if anything that  exceeds a certain weight falls in. While fencing is still highly recommended, this is just another  safeguard for your child.

 Customized or designer fire extinguishers. Fire safety is not an extremely interesting or fun  topic, however it is a necessity. This is why you can now purchase elegant, luxury or fun  extinguishers that are customized to your personal taste and style.

 Hidden wall safes. While this is not extremely high-tech, it is one of the best ways to keep your valuables safe in the instance of a home break in. You can purchase hidden wall safes to look like electrical outlets or any number of other “regular” household items.

Chances are you take the safety of your home and family extremely seriously. With the use of these gadgets, you can increase your peace of mind and have some of the latest and most interesting security gadgets currently available.

By |December 14th, 2014|Categories: Portland, Technology Corner|Tags: , |0 Comments

Ensure Your Kids are Safe: Babysitter Safety Tips

Hiring a babysitter and then leaving your children in their care is not something that should cause you stress or worry. However, the fact is that dangerous situations and accidents can arise and occur at any time. In these situations, you need to ensure that the babysitter you have hired knows what to do. Keep your child safe with the tips found here.
Babysitter Safety Tips
Be comfortable with the babysitter you hire.

The ideal situation would be to hire a family member or friend to watch your children. However, if this is not available, ask for referrals and see if the person has been certified as a babysitter by the American Red Cross. 

Be sure to give sufficient information to your babysitter.

Ensure that your babysitter is completely educated regarding what to do if any type of emergency situation is encountered. This includes providing a list of emergency phone numbers; the hotline for poison control; the child’s pediatrician information; where the first aid kit is located; the routine for your child at bedtime.

Install surveillance cameras for additional peace of mind.

There is no reason to constantly worry about your child while you are away. If necessary, install surveillance cameras inside your home so that you will be able to check in remotely from time to time to ensure that everything is going as it should.

It is important that you protect your children. By educating your babysitter, you can ensure they will be safe even while you are away.

Tips for Stopping the Five-Finger Felons

Each day, in any town across the country, up to 20 incidents of shoplifting occur. However, these are just the reported cases. With these types of significant numbers, there is no surprise that small businesses are feeling the result of these five-finger felons the most. As a result, many businesses are looking for ways to stop the shoplifters.

The first step to preventing these kinds of occurrences is to create a solid set of “best practices.” For example, if you run a store that sells cartons of cigarettes, or other “behind the counter” items, they should not leave the shelves until they have been paid for. This reduces the opportunity for a person to simply walk off with the merchandise. However, more effective that than is integrating intelligent security systems for your business that will constantly monitor the premises of your retail location.
Now you may wonder what exactly needs to be installed to create this state-of-the art security system for your business. There are three main elements that you need to be sure to use and you can add on additional features as the need arises.

Video Security Systems:There are a number of modern systems that offer wireless cameras, easy to move and relocate when needed. This feature of the system will provide recording and play back services allowing you to have a better chance of catching a shoplifter.

Burglar Alarms: Not all stores are open 24 hours a day, which leaves them vulnerable to break-ins. A monitored burglar alarm will allow the police to be called if a disturbance occurs. Additionally, burglar systems are a huge deterrent for would-be thieves in the first place.

Access Control Systems: Do you have areas that are off-limits to customers and certain employees? If so, installing an access control system can provide you with the ability to keep out anyone without the code or key. This is beneficial for offices, safes or other locations inside of your business that should not be exposed to the public.

The fact is that these five-finger felons come in all shapes and forms, such as a career shoplifter who is trying to “score big,” a clandestine nighttime break-in or an internal till thief, the key to combating these criminals is to have the right security system in place.

Did You Lock Your Door this Morning? The Benefits of Remote Access and Keyless Entry

If you are like a number of people getting your kids to school and getting ready for work and finally rushing out the door leaves you half way to your destination wondering if you locked the door. 

The good news is that with the latest in home technology, you can have remote access, to have peace of mind that, yes, your door is locked. Keyless Entry

When you install a remote access feature for your door lock, you will have the ability to both lock and unlock your doors from anywhere via your tablet, smart phone or other internet connected device. Some of the other benefits of this technology are here.

Notification when someone comes in your home. You can program your remote access to send alerts when your loved ones get home and monitor people who go in and out. This could be a baby sitter, house keeper or contractor.

Control the times that other people can come into your home. Do you have someone to work in or on your home at a certain time? If so, you can create custom codes and a schedule that will only allow that person to have access to your home during those particular times.

Be prepared or any unexpected or unplanned events. If you are away, on the road or on vacation and something goes wrong or happens inside your home, you can provide remote access on a temporary basis to anyone who needs to get inside.

This technology gives you peace of mind and complete control of the security of your home and family.

Tips to Ensure Electrical Safety in Your Home

Each year a significant amount of damage is caused by electrical fires. In fact, fire departments in the United States, on average, respond to 25,900 fires that have electrical origins.

The fires are estimated to cause 280 deaths, over 1,000 injuries and over a billion dollars in property damage and loss.

The fact is that homeowners lose much more money each year due to electrical fires than nonelectrical fires. In many cases, and entire home can be lost due to these types of fires.

The primary cause of electric fires include extension cords, overloading thecircuits, misuses of your electrical appliances, wiring that has not been installed correctly and defective appliances. Any fire that is caused by faulty wiring can quickly get out of control, before you have time to take any type of action. In Overloaded Outletmany cases, the fires are difficult to put out, since they are burning inside your walls.

The good news is that there are a number of steps homeowners can take in order to avoid electrical fires in their home, which include:

• Don’t overload your outlets. This means you only plug in one appliance at a time to the wall outlet.

• Replace any frayed electrical cords. When you purchase new ones be certain they have a certification label.

• Never place electrical cords under furniture, carpet or rugs. The cords can overheat, causing a fire.

• Never use extension cords for your appliances. It is important that you plug them right into the wall outlet.

• Don’t overload your power strips. Only plug in a few low-current devices into the power strips you use.

• Use the services of a professional electrical technician. If you need any type of electrical work completed, it is important to have a licensed electrician do it to ensure your home is safe.

The most important thing that you can do to protect your home and family is to ensure you have a monitored fire system that has backup radio monitoring.

How to Turn Employees into Loss Prevention Allies

You can’t always do all the work of shrinkage prevention by yourself. But if you’ve got an updated security system and your staff on your side, it’s going to be very difficult for shoplifters and dishonest employees to steal from you.

Here are a few easy ways to enlist your workers in the fight against theft:

  • Reward employees who take a stanCommercial - teamworkd against theft. Whether it’s whistleblowing or catching a sticky-handed customer in the act, make it your policy to give back to the people who protect your company. Be clear ahead of time about the specific rewards you offer for their assistance, and let them know that you’re counting on them to help make the company successful, for everyone’s good.
  • Train employees on loss prevention issues. They need to be able to spot suspicious behavior a mile away. They also need to know exactly what to do (and what NOT to do) if they notice a shoplifter, or a co-worker carting items out the back door. An over-eager cashier can quickly endanger himself if he confronts a criminal the wrong way. And the situation can devolve into libel, false arrest, and other liability issues, without the proper procedures. Bring in a loss-prevention consultant, if you need a little help with training.
  • Treat your staff like valued team members. Employees who are paid fairly, appreciated, and included are much more likely to be on your side. Take the time to thank people often and sincerely. Anticipate needs and celebrate milestones. Find ways to have fun and eat together. The more you treat people like family, they more they want to succeed together.Loss prevention is a big task, but with a lock-tight security system and a great team standing by your side, you’ve got it made.

Lockout Wi-fi Moochers from Your Hotspot

We rely on portable wi-fi hubs more than ever before. It’s the epitome of convenience to take your connection with you, even in the most unconnected locales. But it’s beyond frustrating to find that the bandwidth you pay for each month is getting siphoned off by wi-fi leeches.

That’s especially true if, like most people, your hotspot service plan limits the amount of data you can use. So how do you keep out the freeloaders and protect your information? Verizon

1. Use WPA2 encryption.Some hotspot devices come equipped with WEP, which is necessary if you’re using older devices, but if it’s at all possible, you need to be on the latest encryption mode, because that’s going to be the most secure option.

2. Use your own Pre-shared key. The one that came in the box is not strong or secure enough, so create your own. Make it long, varied, and not something you’d find in a thesaurus. Change it from time to time.

3. Don’t overshare. Exposing your pre-shared key and your connection to others, even people you trust, can end up putting your information into the wrong hands, eventually. If you do decide to share, make sure to change your key again as soon as you’re done.