- Project description
The Smart Bed
Another prototype in our Living Lab is the Smart Bed. This sensor-equipped bed can be used to detect posture and position of one or two persons in a King-sized bed and is intended to provide a personal sleep analysis. For example, we can detect postures that are potentially harmful to the spinal column. Furthermore, it is possible to detect the different sleep phases by monitoring movement. Other handy applications are in the domain of care facilities to prevent bedridden patients from decubitus. We also have used the system in prevention scenarios by connecting it to a home automation system that automatically turns on lighting at night time when the user gets up from the bed to go to the restroom.
The main difference to the Smart Couch is in terms of data processing. We use a biomechanical body model that is fitted to the current sensor values. This allows detecting the posture in combination with a localization on the bed, supporting a fine-granular monitoring of movements. We also make use of our OpenCapSense board and eight capacitive sensors. In this case the data is transmitted to a PC wirelessly via Bluetooth.
Indoor Localization and Fall Detection
A final application area for our capacitive sensors is working on a larger scale. Our mission is to provide alternatives to existing indoor localization based on capacitive sensors that are more flexible and possibly cheaper to produce. A custom sensor design by IMA allows to affordably integrate localization systems into new or existing living areas. Carpet, parquet flooring or tiles - the required components can be installed under any non-conductive covering. We can measure where persons are currently standing and what their position is. This can be used in home automation applications that rely on position, for example if one leaves the area a warning is given if the hotplate is still active. A particularly important use case is fall detection. If our system recognizes that a person is lying on the floor the system asks if everything is alright and may alert help if there is no response.
The developed sensor technology is using a combination of passive electrodes in the floor and sensors hidden on the edge of the floors. This design allows a cheaper integration and simplified maintenance compared to similar systems. The cost per square meter is considerably lower than with competing technologies. The prototype is communicating to a central systems wired or wireless. We are continuously working on improving the prototype.
Laser-Support of Pointing Gestures
Pointing gestures as used in the “Gesture Control in Home Applications” prototype are usually easy to understand, but there are two main challenges in practical applications. It can’t be assumed that the user is in front of a large screen device at all times that provides visual feedback on the pointing procedure. Furthermore, the interpretation of pointing gestures is individual. While some persons are targeting with their eye-hand line, others use the elbow-hand line of a bent arm. To overcome these issues, we have created the “EAGLE”. This is a small robot arm controlling a laser pointer. In combination with our virtual representation of the living area we can point the laser to the position the user is currently pointing at. Additionally, successful selection and interaction can be indicated, e.g. by flashing the laser. The “EAGLE” framework therefore provides an intuitive and general way of feedback provision for pointing gestures.
The “EAGLE” is comprised of two electric motors, a laser diode and a micro-controller handling the devices and Bluetooth communicating with the PC. We can simply enter the position we want to install the “EAGLE” and the framework is handling all transformation calculations. Using this setup the laser can follow the gestures in real-time. Some additional features like “snap-to-device” and “blink-on-select” improve the user experience even more.
VAALIDATE – Planning Barrier-Free
The simulation environment “VAALIDATE” enables architects to evaluate their construction projects concerning accessibility before execution. Using our custom designed wheel chair simulator it is possible to freely move in a simulated version of the planned building using immersive 3D technology. The basis for the simulation are typical construction plans that are adapted to a 3D model. “VAALIDATE” allows to realize disabled-friendly buildings and this way improves the societal integration of handicapped persons. More information can be found on the following page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6nnrOU1Mc0&feature=youtu.be. The project is a winner of the annual “Land der Ideen” (Land of ideas) initiative in 2012. http://www.land-der-ideen.de/365-orte/preistraeger/fraunhofer-simulationsprogramm-vaalidate
The custom designed wheel cheer prototype is using integrated sensors that detect the motion of the wheels and transfers this to the virtual domain using physical models. The 3D simulation is realized using InstantPlayer, a 3D software developed by Fraunhofer IGD. Potential barriers are identified by the software and a feedback is given to the user. The system can be combined with a special 3D input device that can be used to manipulate objects in the virtual world, such as cupboards, doorknobs or keys, to verify that they are easily reachable from a wheel chair. The simulation can be shown on Fraunhofer IGD’s special high-resolution, 3D video system - the HEye wall.