An Intelligent Carpet To Track Human Poses

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The Carpet consisting of pressure sensors can tactically measure human activity.

Monitoring fitness activities has become a common practice and using devices like smartwatches and cameras have certainly added value to our daily fitness goals. While many use cameras to monitor movements and capture detailed information, it comes with hefty costs and questionable privacy. So, is that all we can have? Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT’s) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have something more for us: a 3D sensing carpet that can monitor movements and accurately measure activities without the use of cameras.

The Intelligent Carpet
The Intelligent Carpet, Credit: MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab

The carpet consists of more than 9,000 pressure sensors that enable it to tactically sense and measure the pressure points accurately. One must have to get on the carpet and perform the activity, such as a push-up, and using the sensor information and a deep neural network, it is possible to determine the 3D pose of the person.

Well, it is only the measuring device as of now, which would have to fit into software, like an app on your mobile. But imagine this system, automatically counting the number of push-ups you did, or giving you instant tips on how to correct your posture, it would indeed be a great workout partner. 

According to the study, this carpet can differentiate actions including squats and bends, with an accuracy of 97.8%. Also, the carpet is also able to differentiate the movements of two people who might use it at the same time. 

But, How can this carpet know so much? According to scientists, every single activity that we humans perform involves contact with the ground and these contact points hold immense amounts of information. Using this information, the software could be trained to “see” like a 3D camera.

Besides monitoring our workout, this technology has a capability far beyond. Be it for effective rehabilitation or monitoring older adults, this intelligent carpet can stand out and be of great use. This technology seems like a perfect inexpensive alternative to cameras and with advanced software integration, the intelligent carpet certainly promises a future of smart interactions.


 

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