People Counter & Tracker For Intelligent Buildings

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Create an intelligent building system using mmWave to count and track people

Tracking the movement of people indoors and outdoors and detecting their position is a key sensing capability that will help to create smart, efficient, automated buildings of the future. Imagine if video cameras could turn on and record only when needed; lighting and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems could more efficiently handle occupancy, or automated doors opened only when a person intended to walk through it.

Today’s passive infrared (PIR) or ultrasonic motion sensors are notoriously bad at detecting when indoor spaces are occupied and do not have the fidelity to detect finer motion, such as when someone is sitting still at their desk, typing, breathing or talking on the phone.

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Millimeter-wave (mmWave) radar is an excellent technology for occupancy sensing, as it has the ability to detect the kinds of very fine motion that might escape other sensing technologies. This motion can even be detected in challenging environments, such as rooms filled with smoke.

Create Intelligent buildings using mmWave radar sensor

TI has developed a people counting (TIDEP-01000) reference design using its mmWave technology radar sensor that tracks, locates and counts multiple people. The design is not only good at detecting motion but can also provide range and angle information — an important capability that can help further reduce false detection in a variety of applications.

For instance, a security camera that only turns on and records when a person – rather than an animal – approaches a specific area like a door; a smoke detector that can inform first responders whether a smoke-filled room is occupied, even if the occupants are unconscious; or a factory robot that shuts down when a moving object comes into its range of motion.

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This reference design leverages the IWR1642, which is a single-chip mmWave radar sensor with an integrated digital signal processor (DSP) for an indoor and outdoor people counting application.

Key features and benefits:

  • This solution can detect up to 250 objects, and point and track up to 20 people with a field of view (FOV) of ±60º in the azimuth (horizontal) plane.
  • mmWave technology provides range, velocity, and angle information to reduce false alarm
  • Because the technology uses high radio frequencies, the sensing is robust to challenging outdoor conditions such as dazzling sunlight, darkness, fog, smoke and precipitation.
  • The technology can also sense through plastics and drywall and can thus be hidden in some installations
  • All detection and signal processing handled onboard the IWR1642; point cloud and object information streamed to PC for visualization

Applications:

• People Counting
• Motion Detector
• Automated Doors and Gates
• IP Network Camera
• Lighting Sensors
• Safety Guards

Watch the demonstration of an Intelligent lighting and factory automating demonstration using IWR mmWave sensors. The sensors detect the position of a robot across multiple ‘rooms’ in factory and office settings.

Click here for more details on the reference design.

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