The RoadSpy project started when Mr Wade realised that it would be possible to detect the presence of illegal immigrants either inside or underneath commercial vehicles using technology and then to alert the vehicle driver. This could save lives and resources. The idea was to detect movement, take video or still imagery and relay this to the user with an alert. Darren Wade later teamed up with businessman Maurice Sharp and they launched Spy-Systems Ltd to commercialise the project.
PES made a demonstration version of the invention as can be seen in the photos below. This consisted of a clear perspex box with four cameras and PIR transducers arranged in different orientations, representing the sides of a lorry and one for the back and one set for the inside.
This was mounted on a tripod. The system worked and has been featured on the National Geographic “I didn’t know that” channel.
The device worked with a hand-held viewer but only over short distances. It was decided to switch to mobile phone technology. A second ‘desk-top’ prototype was made by PES Ltd and this was able to send photos and a text message to the user’s mobile phone.
This system was also featured in the motoring section of the Evening Standard.
Both systems were ‘desktop’ or demo versions and it was necessary to build a fully-functioning version that could be field-tested in a vehicle. This was done and is shown below.
This is a fully-functioning workshop version. We are presently reducing the size of the components to fit inside the casing shown below: