In the future, automated homes, intelligent environments, modern sensor systems, and information technology can help elderly to live autonomously in their own homes. These systems remind residents to regularly take their medicine, for example, or send out an alert if someone falls. The technology remains discreetly in the background – until it is needed.
Ambient Emergency Detection – Safety for Autonomous Living
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in Kaiserslautern, Germany, are creating these intelligent environments. The scientists are developing information technology concepts for a system that collects detailed environment information via a network of numerous, unobtrusively installed sensors that analyze and respond to specific situations. "Through this technique we make the environment intelligent. Using many hidden sensors, the system monitors the daily routine of the occupants," Dr. Martin Becker, Head of the Research Department "Ambient Assisted Living" at IESE, explains. "Risks can be detected and it is possible to assess whether the situation appears to be deteriorating, or most importantly, whether an emergency exists."
One particular challenge is to develop a system that not only functions safely and reliably, but also continuously adapts to changing requirements. New assistance services and devices can easily be integrated into the system, such as motion detectors or pressure sensors in the mattress. The sensors automatically report their data via wireless communication to a control center concealed in a cabinet. If so desired, functions of the sensor can be manually controlled by a computer screen on the nightstand. Should users prefer not to concern themselves with the technology, they can leave everything to the system, which operates autonomously. The system can also detect whether an occupant has fallen, communicate this information via telephone or Internet to a pre-selected contact person. This may be a relative, a neighbor, a care facility, or an emergency medical center.
The bathroom, your friend and helper
The "Assistive Bathroom Environment" of the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS in Duisburg demonstrates how these support services function. "The obstacle-free electronically equipped bathroom has a toilet that recognizes the user and automatically adjusts itself to a suitable height," Dr.-Ing. Gudrun Stockmanns, Group Manager from IMS, explains. A light switches itself on and off automatically, and the tap shuts itself off to save water. This bathroom even has the capability to monitor the amount of toothpaste being used. The goal is to monitor and support the occupant without being intrusive.
The new cutting-edge bathroom is particularly helpful for older and infirm people who are sometimes a bit disorientated and may confuse important everyday tasks. Illuminated pictograms in the mirror indicate what the user is to do next: for instance, wash up, brush his or her teeth, shave – even the days for showering are permanently saved. A recorded female voice gives the bathroom's occupant a friendly reminder when it it´s time to take his or her medication.
"This individually tailor-made support assistance is combined with the documentation of the procedures that occur in the bathroom," Project Manager, Dr.-Ing. Edwin Naroska, reports. Sensors in the door, toilet, tap, light switch, and carpet detect every activity and record them electronically. Above all, this is important if the user needs professional care one day. Doctors or care personnel can see from the computer records what personal hygiene tasks the person under care has completed, how often he or she has visited the bathroom, used the toilet, or whether he or she has fallen down. In the case of an emergency, the computer automatically alerts the chosen contact person or calls the care center.
Alexander Rabe | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Ambient Assisted Living > Ambient Emergency Detection > Assistive Bathroom Environment > Autonomous Living > Fraunhofer Institut > IESE > IMS > automated homes > cutting-edge bathroom > information technology > intelligent environments > modern sensor systems > personal hygiene tasks > wireless communication
NASA CubeSat to test miniaturized weather satellite technology
10.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components
08.11.2017 | The Optical Society
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy