Using AI in the Detection of Asbestos

5 Mar 2018

Using AI in the Detection of Asbestos The task of asbestos abatement is a tricky one, not least because of the fact that the most dangerous aspect to this known carcinogen are the airborne fibres that are not visible with the naked eye. Neither do they carry an odour that can be used to identify its existence, so technological help is required to detect them.

Of course, there are already various methods used to great effect by asbestos surveys, but they do require a trained analyst’s eye. However, there is interesting work being done by an Australian engineer by the name of Jordan Gruber who is currently developing technology that is reported to be able to assist asbestos surveyors by automatically detecting asbestos particles in the air around construction sites around the world.


Gruber has wide experience in the field of robotics, which provided him with the platform to pursue this particularly useful avenue of science. The innovator has also been involved in the development of driverless cars, but was steered towards the field of asbestos management due to his brother’s work in asbestos removal and occupational hygiene.

When asked about his invention, an adapted microscope dubbed “Marvin”, Gruber stated:

“My team and I are driven to applying our knowledge to reducing risk to workers and the public. In effect, we are driven to apply artificial intelligence and robotics to save lives.”

When will this technology enjoy widespread use? Only time will tell, but it has to be applauded, as any efforts that are made to help asbestos companies to protect employees is most certainly a good thing. Mesothelioma, one of the most aggressive cancers caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres, is no joke and everything should be done to avoid exposure to asbestos containing materials.

At OHSS Safety Consultants, we are committed to raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos in the workplace and to offering high quality services for its monitoring, removal and disposal.

If you would like to learn more about asbestos and its effective and safe management, call us on 01 6905907 where one of our team is on hand to offer advice and assistance. Alternatively, you can visit our website for more info.