TFM: Design and implementation of an intelligent system for eldercare support

The number of elderly people in Spain is in a constant process of growth. It is frequent that in this age range problems appear that do not allow people to live their daily lives in a totally independent way. The health care system has limited resources to solve these problems, and the families of these people are having problems reconciling their work and family life.

The motivation for this Master’s Thesis has been to design a solution for people in this situation. In order to do this, a study of the technological solutions present on the market has been carried out first to obtain a list of functionalities that help to deal with the problem. Then, an architecture has been designed that allows the incorporation of these functionalities. Finally, a proof of concept for one of them has been implemented.

The designed architecture is composed of three elements. The terminal is placed at the patient’s home, and provides the patient with different utilities. The web client allows the caregiver to access the different functionalities that arise from monitoring the patient from the terminal. The server is responsible for managing communications between the terminal and the client, as well as managing access to the architecture’s resources, such as the database.

To implement the proof of concept, the utility that has been chosen is the dispensing of medicines. On the patient side, the terminal will alert you when it is time to take the medication, making it accessible at that time. The dispenser has a sensor on the lid that allows you to know when the medication has been accessed, allowing you to monitor your medication intake.

On the caregiver’s side, the status of the intake can be checked through a web client. Once the caregiver has logged into the application, he or she can access the associated terminal and check whether the programmed intakes have been taken in the time interval defined for them, or whether they have been forgotten. On the other hand, the web client also allows the caregiver to schedule the intakes from the terminal.

TFG: Design and implementation of a network of low-resources wireless nodes for the decoding and the reproduction of audio

In recent years, the consumption of multimedia content on the Internet has increased substantially. However, there are devices without Internet access that would be interesting if they could play this content, such as loudspeakers. It would also add value if it were a low-resource device, which would have a direct impact on its cost. This TFG aimed to design and implement a network of low-resources wireless nodes for the reception, decoding and playback of MP3 audio within a multipoint communications network.

This work continued the development of the system carried out in a previous TFG, which is described on this post. The system consisted of a transmitter located into a computer and several receivers, each one of them located into a esp8266 chip. The transmitter sent codified audio to a multicast direction, which could be received the receptor chips connected to his same Wi-Fi network, to be decoded and reproduced.

The first objective was to improve the reproduction audio quality of the system. To achieve this, a MP3 decoder chip module was integrated to work as a slave system controlled by the esp8266. After that, audio tests were then carried out to check the similarity between sent and received audio.

The second objective was to provide configurability to the system. A software tool was developed, which set the esp8266 as an access point. If the user connected to it, a configuration website was deployed. This site had a form where the user may write the SSID and the password of a Wi-Fi network. After that, the esp8266 connected to that Wi-Fi network, and started the codified audio reception.

The last objective of this TFG was the design and the implementation of a hardware prototype of the node which included the two modules. For this purpose, a printed circuit board has been designed and manufactured, consisting of the necessary elements to connect all the modules of the system. The resulting PCB and the the final version of the node, connected with the esp8266, can be seen in the pictures below.

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