Accela Construct App Challenge Entry

Overview

Property inspectors are the dedicated men and women that keep our homes and commercial properties safe.  Inspector Buddy is the affordable telepresence robot that keeps property inspectors safe. Inspector Buddy runs on the RoboMe robot that costs only $78 USD and is commonly available at Amazon and many other retailers. Add an inexpensive Windows Phone and Tablet/Laptop, and you have a complete telepresence package. Inspector Buddy consists of an easy to install Windows Phone and Windows Store pair of apps that integrate with the Accela Construct and CivicID APIs.

APIs Used

  • The Accela Construct get_inspections API will be used to retrieve a desired master inspection record for the current property being inspected. A search facility will be provided so that inspectors can also locate properties by inspector using methods from that API. Methods from that API will also be used to create documents as needed to attach the pictures and videos taken by inspector buddy.
  • In cities where data is available, the CivicData CKAN API will be used to access the permits relevant to the property currently being inspected. From inside the Inspector Buddy client app the inspector will be able to examine the permits already obtained to refine their inspection. (For example, the permit data available for Salt Lake City, Utah)

Features

  • Easy to operate telepresence robot that is controlled remotely from any Windows 8.1 tablet, laptop, or desktop PC.
  • Robot is powered by an inexpensive Windows Phone that sits in the robotís smart phone cradle.  Note, a Lumia 521 can be purchased for $69 off-contract.
  • Integrates with the Accela Construct API so pictures & videos taken are automatically uploaded & attached to the main property inspection record.
  • The robot is less than a foot high allowing it to access tight, hard to reach spaces that are not reachable by a human inspector.
  • Supports the wearable V.BTTN Bluetooth controller for robot operations (See the Inspector Buddy YouTube video for details).
  • Can also be operated using simple navigation controls found on the robot operations screen (See screenshot below).

Benefits

  • Protects the property inspector against dangerous animals and insects like poisonous snakes, hostile cats & dogs, venomous spiders such as Black Widows and the Brown Recluse.
  • Protects the property inspector against potential physical injury, especially back injuries, resulting from an attempt to inspect an area that is difficult to reach.
  • Facilitates more extensive and thorough property inspections since the pint-sized robot can fit into places humans can not.
  • Saves local governments the huge amounts of money currently lost when property inspectors are injured on the job due to hostile or arduous inspection environments.

 

Screenshots of Inspector Buddy

Here are some screenshots of the client app that runs on the Windows tablet, laptop, or desktop PC. The server app that runs on the Windows Phone running on the robot is not shown, since itís just a basic status screen. Click on any screen shot to see it full-size.

Picture 1: Main property inspection summary record with basic property details and attached pictures and videos shown.

 

Picture 2: Picture detail screen shown with accompanying notes by the inspector.

 

Picture 3: Telepresence robot operation screen showing the live video stream window with the robot navigation and other controls next to it.

 

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