Monday, May 20, 2024

Automatic Camera Based Boom Barrier Better Than The IR Based

This is a common sight at big buildings, such as shopping malls and 5-star hotels, where the entrance for staff and regular vendors has a boom barrier. The staff cars and other regular vehicles have to slow down and wait near an infra-red (IR) scanner, which reads the faint radiation of an IR tag pasted on the vehicle’s windshield. The boom barrier opens if the tag is found in its database. The process is quite efficient and works unhindered. However, the only flip side is that the process does not work when there is no tag, or the tag is damaged, or it cannot be identified for some reason.

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The system proposed here takes care of such problems. When a vehicle approaches the boom barrier, a speaker automatically asks the driver to slow down and stop briefly within four metres of the scanner. A high-fidelity camera then reads the vehicle’s registration number on its registration plate and checks whether it is there in its database. If the number is found in the database, the boom barrier opens automatically and the driver is told on the loudspeaker to proceed.

Whenever a new unregistered vehicle arrives, its registration number is updated in the database (if the visitor is expected to visit regularly henceforth) and the process keeps running. This system requires no IR tag, no pasting of the tag on vehicles’ windscreens, and no big disk antenna for an IR scanner at the gate. The process can be further refined, so that the vehicles need not stop at all, by using a better camera and computer.

Bill of Material:

Components Quantity
Raspberry Pi 3 or Pi 4 computer with 4 / 8GB RAM 1
Raspberry Pi camera 1
HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor 1
7-inch touchscreen for Raspberry Pi 1
5V, 2A DC power supply 1
Speaker 1

To achieve this, a powerful Raspberry Pi 4 computer is needed for this project. For measuring distance, the same image analytic can be deployed. But to make process simple, deployment of an HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor is recommended. The moment a vehicle comes within four metres distance, the camera takes a frontal picture of the vehicle and compares its registration plate number with the already available numbers in its database.

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HC-SR04 cannot measure beyond four metres. To make it measure beyond that, say, up to six metres, it can be fitted on a two-metre long pole with wires in front of the camera on the side of the passage such that when the barrier opens, it will go up with the barrier.

You can use voice synthesizer ‘espeak’ to issue voice instructions to the drivers. The instructions can be like welcome, slow down, come closer, drive away, etc.


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