Seat Occupancy Detection Based on a Low-Power Microcontroller and a Single FSR.

Affiliation

Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ), Ciudad Juárez 32310, Mexico. [Email]

Abstract

This paper proposes a microcontroller-based measurement system to detect and confirm the presence of a subject in a chair. The system relies on a single Force Sensing Resistor (FSR), which is arranged in the seat of the chair, that undergoes a sudden resistance change when a subject/object is seated/placed over the chair. In order to distinguish between a subject and an inanimate object, the system also monitors small-signal variations of the FSR resistance caused by respiration. These resistance variations are then directly measured by a low-cost general-purpose microcontroller unit (MCU) without using either an analogue processing stage or an analogue-to-digital converter. Two versions of such a MCU-based circuit are presented: one to prove the concept of the measurement, and another with a smart wake-up (generated by the sudden resistance change) intended to reduce the energy consumption. The feasibility of the proposed measurement system is experimentally demonstrated with subjects of different weight sitting at different postures, and also with objects of different weight. The MCU-based circuit with a smart wake-up shows a standby current consumption of 800 nA, and requires an energy of 125 µJ to carry out the measurement after the wake-up.

Keywords

autonomous sensor,force sensing resistor,microcontroller,resistive sensor,seat occupancy detection,sensor interface electronics,

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