Robertson Introduce Facial Recognition Technology on UK’s First National Robotarium Site

Robertson Construction has deployed facial recognition technology on its prestigious National Robotarium project in Edinburgh to support contactless site entry for the workforce. The site will be the first National Robotarium in the UK and is due to open in 2022 as a world-leading research facility for robotics and artificial Intelligence.

Image Credit: Robertson Construction

The Biosite Facial Recognition system has been installed at site entry and exit points to provide a non-contact biometric access control solution with mandatory fever screening. It means operatives will have their facial template matched against the workforce database and have their temperature checked before access to site is granted. The system will enable Robertson to capture and monitor workforce data on site, in real time, to support health and safety, efficiency and compliance, as well as help manage coronavirus transmission risk. It is the first Robertson project to introduce a facial recognition system with integrated temperature measurement and the first live deployment of Biosite Facial Recognition in Scotland.

The non-contact facial recognition system requires no secondary authentication such as pin entry and has been developed to prioritise data security – no worker data is stored on the camera device and the facial matching process takes place remotely, which also improves accuracy. The facial matching process is completed in <0.2 seconds for efficient worker throughput*.

Richard Cairns, Senior Project Manager at Robertson Construction (Central Scotland East), explains: “We were looking for an effective access control system that would enable us to easily and accurately track critical workforce data. It was also crucial for us to have a non-contact system to comply with site safety guidance in Scotland, and that would meet our own stringent safe operating procedures in relation to the ongoing concerns around COVID-19.  We have used facial recognition systems previously, but Biosite’s solution means we can capture and monitor workforce information whilst providing a contactless entry system with the additional reassurance of fever screening.

“Biosite worked with us to make sure we had the right solution for the project, which is also proving popular with the site team, who have found it really easy to use and have been reassured by the temperature measurement feature.” 

Joe Gribben, Business Development Manager (Scotland) at Biosite Systems Ltd, adds: “Having a biometric access control system enables contractors to check health and safety and competency information, such as whether workers have up-to-date qualifications and have completed their induction training before entry to site is granted. The system also helps safeguard against issues such as modern slavery, as the use of biometrics means you can link a worker’s facial template to their qualified biographic profile and know who’s on site at any one time.

“It was also essential that we provided a contactless solution that would meet specific site safety guidance in Scotland. It was a pleasure to be able help the team combine the latest technology with a practical and effective approach to access control.”

The National Robotarium, based at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus, is set to be the largest and most advanced facility of its type in the UK and is being developed as part of an objective to establish the city as the data capital of Europe. As part of the South East Scotland City Region Deal, the collaboration between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh has been funded by both the UK and Scottish Government.

Robertson is one of the UK’s largest family-owned construction, infrastructure, regeneration, development and support services businesses in the UK businesses in the UK and is due to complete the National Robotarium project in spring 2022.

Biosite Facial Recognition has been developed in-house to provide a convenient, contactless access control solution specifically for the construction industry. Biosite is the market leader in workforce management systems for the UK construction industry and developed its innovative facial recognition solution to respond to increased demand for contactless site entry.

*Dependent on the number of people enrolled and the specification of the purchased system

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