Thanks to a new system developed at EPFL, building owners can detect the number of occupants and track their movement using sensors installed on floor slabs. This novel approach could be particularly useful for enhancing safety in retirement homes or managing buildings’ energy use more efficiently.
Many buildings, manufacturing sites, shopping malls and other public spaces are equipped with occupant detection systems. These systems generally rely on cameras or occupants’ mobile phones. Such technologies infringe on privacy and may not function in emergencies such as fires. Scientists at ENAC’s Applied Computing and Mechanics Laboratory (IMAC), headed by Professor Ian Smith, have developed an alternative approach. “By installing sensors in a building’s floor slabs, we can measure the vibrations created by footsteps. That lets us calculate the number of people in the building as well as where they are located and their trajectory,” says Slah Drira, the IMAC PhD student who completed his thesis on this topic.
To each his own gait
The challenge with Drira’s approach is screening out the background noise caused by spurious events such as a door closing or an object falling to the ground. These events can trigger vibrations similar to those induced by footsteps. Another challenge relates to the vast differences in walking styles – not just between two different people but also by the same person under different circumstances. “The signals our sensors record can vary considerably depending on the person’s anatomy, walking speed, shoe type, health and mood,” says Drira.
His method uses advanced algorithms – or more specifically, support vector machines – to classify the signals recorded by the sensors. Some interpretation strategies were inspired by the convolutional neural networks often employed in pixel-based image recognition, and can identify the footstep characteristics of specific occupants.
The research team carried out four full-scale floor slabs: one in a seminar room at IMAC, one in an office environment at IMAC, one in the entrance of the MED building at EPFL campus and one in an open-hall space in Singapore. “These four case studies allowed us to validate our occupant detection, localization and tracking system on a larger scale. Unlike existing methods, ours needs fewer sensors – just one for every 15–75 m2, as opposed to one for every 2 m2 – and doesn’t require that the floor slabs have uniform rigidity. What’s more, the localization feature of other methods had been tested only on single individuals,” says Drira.
The new system has applications in a host of fields. It could be used to enhance energy management protocols in offices, improve building security (like at banks and data centers), find occupants during an emergency and locate patients inside hospitals and retirement homes. This system can do all that without infringing on occupants’ privacy.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Occupant detection systems
- Growth of the Vehicle Occupancy Detection System Market to be driven by High Demand for Efficient Handling of Road Traffic Congestion: TMRon January 25, 2021 at 4:30 am
In recent times, there has been growing demand for incorporation of video imagery to keep a check on the high occupancy vehicles (HOV) ...
- With rising safety measures and norms, the aggrandizement adumbrated for Global Passenger Car Sensors Market with 10.21% CAGR between 2021 and 2022on January 21, 2021 at 9:46 am
Sensors in automobiles are being used more than ever. Sensors make the automobiles safe for use, reduce the error of ...
- TDSi announces new features for their GARDiS range of software and hardware security systemson January 18, 2021 at 10:09 pm
Integrated security manufacturer TDSi is pleased to announce a raft of new features for its GARDiS range of integrated software and hardware security systems.Additional features for 2021 ...
- Highway safety advocates: ‘Disturbing trends in 2020’on January 15, 2021 at 2:07 am
In their latest report, highway safety advocates say speeding is a culprit for the surge in traffic fatality rates. Advocates are also urging federal lawmakers to implement safety devices like speed ...
- LenelS2 unveils OnGuard security management system Version 8.0 that offers powerful visualisation for data-based insightson January 14, 2021 at 11:54 pm
LenelS2 has announced the release of the OnGuard security management system version 8.0, empowering security teams with enhanced situational awareness through unified views of the ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Occupant detection systems
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Vibration sensing system
- Vibration Monitoring Market Analysis with Key Players, Applications, Trends and Forecasts to 2026on January 21, 2021 at 11:15 pm
Selbyville, Delaware Global Vibration Monitoring Market Report added at Market Study Report LLC offers industry size, share, growth, trends and forecast analysis up to 2026. Vibration Monitoring ...
- Automotive Lane Keep Assist System Market Size 2020 by Cost Analysis, Revenue, Gross Margin Analysis, Types, Application and Forecast to 2024on January 20, 2021 at 12:11 am
Jan (The Expresswire) -- "Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this industry." Lane keep assist system is an ...
- Global Machine Condition Monitoring Sensors Market 2020-2024: Deployment of Sensors in the Aging Infrastructure as One of the Prime Reasons Driving the Market ...on January 8, 2021 at 1:21 pm
The "Global Machine Condition Monitoring Sensors Market 2020-2024" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. The machine condition monitoring sensors market is poised to grow by $ ...
- Global Machine Condition Monitoring Sensors Market 2020-2024: Deployment of Sensors in the Aging Infrastructure as One of the Prime Reasons Driving the Market ...on January 8, 2021 at 8:24 am
The market is driven by the rise in demand for wireless vibration sensors and growing adoption of machine condition monitoring system in APAC. This study identifies deployment of sensors in the ...
- Fiber Optic Sensor Moves Robot In Near Real-Timeon January 6, 2021 at 4:01 pm
which can happen when the fiber undergoes a vibration or strain. When attached to an opto-electrical connection, the fiber optic sensing can be used as a hyper-sensitive measurement device for ...