Usage of a Texas Instruments Smart SensorTag for Personal Applications: Fall Detection and Prevention to Enhance Elderly Living
Every engineer is responsible for completing a capstone project as a culmination of accredited university learning to demonstrate technical knowledge and enhance interpersonal skills, like teamwork, communication, time management, and problem solving. This project, with three or four engineers working together in a group, emphasizes not only the importance of technical skills acquired through laboratory procedures and coursework, but the significance of soft skills as one transitions from a university to a professional workplace; it also enhances the understanding of an engineer's obligation to ethically improve society by harnessing technical knowledge to bring about change. The CC2541 Smart SensorTag is a device manufactured by Texas Instruments that focuses on the use of wireless sensors to create low energy applications, or apps; it is equipped with Bluetooth Smart, which enables it to communicate wirelessly with similar devices like smart phones and computers, assisting greatly in app development. The device contains six built-in sensors, which can be utilized to track and log personal data in real-time; these sensors include a gyroscope, accelerometer, humidifier, thermometer, barometer, and magnetometer. By combining the data obtained through the sensors with the ability to communicate wirelessly, the SensorTag can be used to develop apps in multiple fields, including fitness, recreation, health, safety, and more. Team SensorTag chose to focus on health and safety issues to complete its capstone project, creating applications intended for use by senior citizens who live alone or in assisted care homes. Using the SensorTag's ability to track multiple local variables, the team worked to collect data that verified the accuracy and quality of the sensors through repeated experimental trials. Once the sensors were tested, the team developed applications accessible via smart phones or computers to trigger an alarm and send an alert via vibration, e-mail, or Tweet if the SensorTag detects a fall. The fall detection service utilizes the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors with the hope that such a system will prevent severe injuries among the elderly, allow them to function more independently, and improve their quality of life, which is the obligation of engineers to better through their work.