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Do You Know Where Your Robotic Total Stations Are?

The Trimble Sentinel solution delivers real-time location tracking of equipment.

Trimble distributor KOREC recently shared the story of the break-in and theft of survey equipment from UK company Storm Geomatics and the recovery of that equipment made possible by the Trimble® Sentinel device tracking solution.

The Trimble Sentinel solution consists of the Trimble Sentinel mobile application and an after-market device tracking hardware module upgrade, available for the Trimble S5, S7, S9, S9HP total stations, and the RTS and SPS-series total stations. The mobile application may be installed on iOS or Android™ devices and provides in-field access to reporting location, device settings, impact, and geofence notifications for each instrument.

In addition to finding missing equipment, the application can locate your total station at any time. It also contains a built-in sensor to alert the user to possible calibration errors, damage and low batteries, thus avoiding costly delays and rework.

Combined Technology Assists in Recovery

Despite a break-in that occurred on a Saturday night at 10:30 pm, Storm Geomatics was fully operational on Monday morning at 7:00 am thanks to CCTV, Trimble’s Sentinel device tracking solution, a fast police response and some hard work from the survey team that saw all the recovered instruments checked and recalibrated over the weekend.

Sentinel_Storm Geomatic
  • 10:30 pm: CCTV monitoring the Storm Geomatics premises picked up unusual activity, alerting the monitoring company that called the police and Storm Geomatics Managing Director, Mike Hopkins.
  • 10:37 pm: Smoke is released in the building and the thieves leave with stolen equipment, escaping through a hedge and setting off on foot across fields.
  • 10:47 pm: Mike Hopkins arrives on site along with the police and a tracker dog that picks up a scent but cannot locate the thieves. Additional police comb the area in an attempt to find the panicked thieves.
  • 12:45 am: Mike Hopkins contacts Storm Geomatics Operations Director Anthony Pritchard who logs into the Trimble Sentinel app to see if one of the stolen Trimble Total Stations can be tracked.
  • 12:55 am: Lat/Long reference shows the position of the stolen goods with a time stamp of 12:51am. The lat/long is converted to a “What3words” location reference and given to the police.
  • 01:30 am: Using the What3Words reference, a police dog team go straight to a wheelbarrow abandoned in a hedge containing four total stations, one SX10, two controllers, two R12 GNSS units, a level and other survey accessories.
  • 2:10 am: The stolen instruments were handled with gloves, placed in the back of a Land Rover and returned to a safe place.
Trimble Sentinel

Business as Usual

Polly Hopkins of Storm Geomatics shared this timely reminder on how instrument thieves can strike at any time. She explains, “There’s no doubt that this was a planned operation with the thieves arriving with an angle grinder to cut through the wall of the building, and they attempted to remove the external CCTV cameras.”

“In this case, our investment in security measures for the building and the equipment paid off 100%. The police could not have been more responsive and in a particularly busy period for us, our customers were completely unaffected—on Monday morning by 7:00 am all our instruments had been checked, calibrated and ready to go.”

As is shown in the case of Storm Geomatics, the Trimble Sentinel solution enables real-time location tracking of total stations to assist with recovery of valuable property after a theft. The mobile application and the device tracking hardware module work together to conveniently provide the safety net that never lets you lose sight of your instruments.

Learn more about Trimble Sentinel device tracking solution