Long-term activity monitoring in AAL using a large-area sensitive floor

Project start: 

01 April 2012

iCareNet Fellow: 

Abstract of the Project

Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) focuses on assisting individuals in all sorts of everyday tasks, taking into account specific health impairments (vision, hearing, mobility, etc.). Prevention and detection of falls, or situations of helplessness, can increase the time an elder can live independently, while, at the same time, giving the older citizen a sense of security [1]. More so, AAL systems may have the ability to monitor the inhabitant's health state and alert if human assistance is required. This research project aims to build such a system using SensFloor [2][3], a large-area capacitive underlay, as the main pervasive ambient sensor. SensFloor can provide information about the position and state of a person (walking speed, direction, detection of falls) .

Research goals include the adaptation of the SensFloor technology to be used in the entire living environment (wet rooms included) and the extraction of the  inhabitants'  walking patterns and trajectories throughout the day, from the spatio-temporal floor data. The use of additional sensors, such as user-bound devices, can help identify different users in multi-person scenarios [4], and give additional information about the activity of the user. Detection of hazardous situations (falls, situations-of-helplessness) and changes in health state are of interest.







Research Achievements to date

  • Wireless firmware update method for SensFloor modules
  • Event-triggered video recording for ground truth analysis
  • Multi-person localization and tracking using the floor data
  • Online step detection on user-bound accelerometer devices
  • User identification based on footstep signals correlation 


[1]  Pieper, M., Antona, M., and Corts, U., “Introduction to the Special Theme: Ambient Assisted Living”, ERCIM NEWS, 17, pp. 18-47, 2010

[2]  Steinhage, A. and Lauterbach, C., “SensFloor – Ein Sensorsystem für großflächiges Ambient-Assisted-Living Anwendungen,” in proceedings of the MikroSystemTechnik Kongress, 2007, pp. 1091- 1094.

[3]  Steinhage, A. and Lauterbach, C., “Monitoring Movement Behaviour by Means of a Large-Area Proximity Sensor Array in the Floor”, Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Behaviour Monitoring and Interpretation, BMI’08, pp 15-27, 2008

[4]  Sousa, M., Techmer, A., Steinhage, A., Lauterbach and C., Lukowicz, P., “Human Tracking and Identification using a Sensitive Floor and Wearable Accelerometers”, submitted to  the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications