TFM: Development of an electronic system for monitoring people’s parameters

Road safety is one of the objectives of the European Union due to the high number of infractions committed every year by drivers and pedestrians, and the large amount of accidents with fatalities registered in Europe year by year. Therefore, any step taken in order to deal with this problem is beneficial for everyone.

Current technology allows increasing the security measures of vehicles, which, together with consciousness-raising of drivers and pedestrians, take us one step closer to the reduction of these figures. Every day more people decide to use biosensors for controlling their vital signs. The transfer and adaptation of the aforementioned systems to the situation in which a driver is, permit to complement both legal actions accomplished and consciousness-raising measures, improving road safety.

The main objective of this Master’s thesis consists of the development of an electronic system that allows drivers to notice the indisposition to drive, permitting to avoid an accident and also an infraction.

After analyzing the parameters that affect driving and are related to the driver, those that can be monitored in a non-intrusive way and without using disposable material were chosen: body temperature, blood pressure, pulse, stress level, and alcohol level.

All of that has been gathered in a single module formed by three PCBs. Both hardware and software have been designed. The proposal has been assembled and the case and the band have been 3D-printed in order to form the final device with a smart bracelet form factor. This module has been designed with the purpose of having small dimensions and low consumption since it is powered by a battery.

Finally, several tests have been carried out to verify the proper functioning of the system. The biggest challenge was found while obtaining blood pressure based on the photoplethysmography signal. Through those tests, the developed software could be adapted according to the results obtained, since offset values that have to be applied and the times that sensors need could be known. This also permitted to discover errors committed during previous stages of the development process.

Therefore, it can be confirmed that the general objectives set have been accomplished.

Technical viability of the proposal could be proved, and this informs of the existence of several application fields that the project could have, as is the case of professional drivers.

DEPERITA – An intrusion alarm system to improve safety in road work zones

 

Road traffic accidents are one of the main causes of death and disability worldwide. Workers responsible for maintaining and repairing roadways are especially prone to suffer these events, given their exceptional exposure to traffic.

The goal of this project is to develop an intrusion alarm system to improve safety in road work zones. It consists of several nodes equipped with ultrasonic sensors to detect possible vehicle breaches in the perimeter. In addition, we will develop individual warning devices to be worn by every worker that will be wirelessly connected to the detector nodes. This way, in case of a vehicle invading the work zone, each worker can be effectively and timely warned in order to make it to safety.

This project emerged from Jose Martin‘s MSc thesis, and later has been funded by the 2015 AEESD public call. Its official details are as follows:

Title: DEPERITA – DEtección PERImeTral para el Aviso a trabajadores en obras lineales
Code: TSI-100503-2015-0039
Duration: October 2015 – December 2017
Partners: Valoriza Infraestructuras and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (B105-ESL)
Financing entity: Ministerio de Industria, Energía y Turismo (AEESD 2015)

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Concedida matrícula de honor a PFC englobado dentro del proyecto DEPERITA

El proyecto DEPERITA (DEtection PERImetral system for lineal TrAffic works) está siendo actualmente desarrollado en el laboratorio B105. El sistema busca desarrollar un sistema que mejore la seguridad en obras de mantenimiento de carreteras. En estos trabajos, es habitual llevarlos a cabo sin cerrar la calzada, cortando sólo parte de los carriles, con el fin de no interrumpir completamente el tráfico. Sin embargo, en estos casos, los trabajadores están expuestos al tráfico, ya que los coches circulan muy cerca de ellos y cabe la posibilidad de que algún vehículo se introduzca en la zona cerrada al tráfico, en la que se encuentran los trabajadores. Para reducir la posibilidad de accidente en estos casos, se ha planteado desarrollar un sistema que alerte a los trabajadores en caso de que algún vehículo invada la zona de trabajo.

La detección de los vehículos se realiza mediante unas balizas o detectores que se acoplarán a los conos empleados para realizar el corte del tráfico. Las balizas se encargarán de, si algún vehículo cruza ,la zona delimitada, avisar a todos los trabajadores a través de un reloj que cada uno de ellos lleva puesto. Todas estas balizas y relojes forman una red inalámbrica en la banda conocida como SRD (Short Range Devices) de 868 MHz. Esta se encarga de distribuir los avisos de peligro, activar o desactivar la detección de vehículos, e informar del estado de los dispositivos.

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Esquema reducido de un despliegue objetivo.

Cuando algún vehículo cruce este perímetro, la baliza asociada a ese segmento lo detectará, y se avisará a los trabajadores mediante sus relojes y también con la sirena incorporada en alguna de las balizas. De esta manera, pueden apartarse de la zona de la carretera y evitar un posible atropello. Una vez pasa el peligro, el responsable de la obra puede, mediante su reloj, parar el aviso y poner en marcha el sistema de nuevo.

El primer prototipo de este sistema fue desarrollado en el PFC “Diseño e implementación de un sistema de control perimetral para seguridad en obras de infraestructuras lineales”, que fue presentado el pasado 21 de Diciembre, siéndole concedida la matrícula de honor en el pasado mes de enero. Tras este primer desarrollo, se trabajará junto con la empresa Valoriza Infraestructuras para probarlo en entornos reales y evolucionarlo, con el fin de emplearlo en un futuro en este tipo de trabajos.