Many of our daily activities involve physical contact with the ground, be it walking, exercising, or resting. These interactions contain a wealth of information that helps scientists better understand human movements.
Although the smart carpet from MIT engineers cannot fly and speak, its tactile sensors are capable of assessing people’s postures without using visual images from cameras.
The new system only used them to create the dataset on which the system was trained. In order for the carpet to receive information about the position of the body, a person simply needs to stand (or sit) on it and perform an action. The deep neural network then uses only tactile information to determine if the person has done squats, stretches, or some other action.
The carpet itself is an inexpensive and scalable technology. It is made from commercial, pressure-sensitive film and 9,000-gauge conductive filaments. Each of them converts a person’s pressure into an electrical signal.
The authors of the development are confident that it will lead to the improvement of autonomous individual health care systems, smart home and computer games.