Capacitive Sensor to Detect Fallen Humans in Conditions of Low Visibility

Advanced Institute of Convergence IT
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Convergence Information Technology, 2011, 6 (9), pp. 1 - 8
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This paper examines the potential for a capacitive sensor to be used as part of a system to detect fallen humans at very close range. Previous research suggests that a robotic system incorporating a low cost capacitive sensor could potentially distinguish between different materials. The work reported in this paper stemmed from an attempt to determine the true extent to which such a system might reliably differentiate between fallen humans and other objects. The work is motivated by the fact that there are several different emergency circumstances in which such a system might save lives if it could reliably detect immobile humans. These scenarios include situations where older people have fallen and are unable to move or raise an alert, and circumstances where people have been overcome by smoke in a burning building. Current sensing systems are typically unsuitable in conditions of low visibility such as smoke filled rooms. This analysis focused specifically on the potential for a robot equipped with a capacitive sensing system to identify an immobile human in a low visibility emergency scenario. It is concluded that further work would be required to determine whether this type of capacitive sensing system is genuinely suitable for this task.
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