A fire has been set in a three-story building at the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, where firefighters hone their skills and test equipment. In this case, they're testing a device they hope will save firefighters' lives. The device is a new type of sensor that can track firefighters' whereabouts deep inside buildings, where standard GPS units often don't work. See more in this Science Nation video.
Credit: Science Nation, National Science Foundation
Researchers at Intel Labs located on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh are working on a way to take the drudgery out of house work. They are designing a robot named HERB (for Home Exploring Robotic Butler) to be smart and resourceful. Their idea is to create a robot that can walk into a home, assess the layout and move about on its own. Researchers believe senior citizens and the disabled will be the early adopters of robot butlers, since they most need help around the house. See more in this Science Nation video.
Credit: Science Nation, National Science Foundation
The Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate (CISE) studies the inter-related roles of people, computers and information. IIS supports research and education activities that develop new knowledge about the role of people in the design and use of information technology; increase the capability to create, manage, and understand data and information in circumstances ranging from personal computers to globally-distributed systems, and advance an understanding of how computational systems can exhibit the hallmarks of intelligence.
The Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS), another division of the CISE Directorate, supports research and education activities that invent new computing and networking technologies and that explore new ways to make use of existing technologies.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a method for tracking the locations of multiple individuals in complex, indoor settings using a network of video cameras. The method was able to automatically follow the movements of 13 people within a nursing home, even though individuals sometimes slipped out of view of the cameras.
We have all heard of the smartphone and, any day now, most of us will have one. Not far behind: the smart home. Washington State University's Diane Cook says it won't be long before our homes act as "intelligent agents" that use sensors and software to anticipate our needs and tend to tasks that improve our health, energy efficiency, even social media.
August 5, 2013
Home sensors enable seniors to live independently
New sensors and high speed networks can detect falls, health issues
People are living longer and they desire to live as independently as possible in their senior years. But, independent lifestyles come with risks, such as debilitating falls and deteriorating health resulting from inadequate care. To address these issues, researchers are developing "smart home" technologies to enhance the safety of residents and monitor their health conditions using sensors and other devices
The unobtrusive monitoring of individuals with in-home sensors offers enormous potential for detecting early health problems--before they become big problems--so timely interventions can be provided to improve the health trajectory. The result is continued high functional ability, independence and better health outcomes. Early detection of health changes is the key to this approach.
This project leverages ongoing work at the University of Missouri in Health Alert Systems with sensor technology. The Health Alert System is being tested in senior housing in Columbia, Mo., (with partner, Americare) and Cedar Falls, Iowa, (with partner, Western Home Communities), using motion sensors for activity monitoring, webcam silhouette images and Kinect depth images for gait analysis, vision and acoustic sensing for fall detection, and a new hydraulic bed sensor that captures quantitative pulse, respiration and restlessness. Pattern recognition algorithms are used to look for changes in the sensor data patterns and generate health alerts to clinicians, who provide further diagnosis and determine appropriate interventions.
The usability and effectiveness of the Health Alert System are being evaluated for managing chronic health conditions. Testing the Health Alert System at a remote site from the healthcare providers will provide important information about how the approach scales up into other settings. This will provide an important next step towards moving the approach into independent housing where seniors want to be, and offers significant potential healthcare cost savings.
The research will impact the health care and quality of life for older adults. New approaches will assist health care providers to identify potential health problems early, offering a model for eldercare technology that keeps seniors independent while reducing health care costs. The project will train the next generation of researchers to handle real, cyber-physical systems. Students will be mentored by an interdisciplinary team, and research outcomes will be integrated into the classroom.
The research in this episode was funded by NSF through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.