Results v. Expectations
Our final project did achieve the basic functionality set out in our primary goals: we have a security system that slews a camera to a triggered sensor and takes a picture, we additionally have a password system based on code and entry rhythm. The goal of dialing into a server to report the alarm was not attained due to budgetary limitations and so it was never attempted in favor of focusing more resources on our loftier goal of intruder tracking by vibration. Even though intruder tracking did not fully materialize, we do realize that it may still be a very real possibility if some elements of digital signal processing were brought in to extract and compare a vibration fingerprint. The code for determining position of a vibration epicenter is included in the appendix of this report. Additional lab time was spent on wiring up other analog sensors we planned on using in the lab but did not make the final cut. These sensor types included MEMS accelerometers to detect swinging doors or for tagging valuables, and pressure sensors in the form of ESD foam that changed resistance with compression.
For camera control, the use of The Imaging Source's demo visual basic function was essential in completing the task. The function fits seamlessly into any Visual Basic 6.0 code which we conveniently have on one of our desktop machines. Unfortunately, because VB6 is not in the computer labs anymore and the code doesn't seem to port very well into VB.net, we have been forced to take the desktop computer into the lab with us for GUI testing.
If we had to do the project again, we would have scrapped to vibration tracking aspect of the project and focused more time on the user interface end of things. We would have built each of the sensors into independent modules with all their associated analog circuitry that would click into a microcontroller all on stand-alone solder boards. We would also have developed the GUI so that it would be able to configure the alarm system from a PC. Lastly, we would have mounted a light on top of the camera. Originally we were planning on a super bright infrared emitter that would be detectable only by the digital camera.
Overall, the system designed turned into a nice framework for an inexpensive expandable sensor based security system with the added features of extra secure passwords and increasing the chances you capture your burglars and their activities on film. Through some extensive, and yet far from exhaustive, patent searches and Google searches, we have not found any other keypad that uses password timing the way ours does where people remember a planned beat pattern by which to enter their code. We have however seen patents for recognition based on a natural typing pattern (unplanned) and this may or may not rule out patent opportunities for our method.
Intellectual Property Links
USB Camera Functions
The Imaging Source
Suite 400, 1201 Greenwood Cliff
Keypad Functionality Patents
BioNet Systems, LLC
1605 NW Sammamish Road, Suite 105
Issaquah, WA 98027
Schmidtt Triggered Hall Sensor Part with Resistor
Slotcar -- A possible ECE476 motor lab
by John Stang
ECE491, Dec 2003
IEEE Code of Ethics Considerations
1) In this project we designed a security system meant to protect the safety of others. Each decision made about the functionality of the system was done so with the safety of the users home and property in mind. If a sensor fails to set off an alarm due to a trespasser, it could result in a loss of property or physical harm to the property owner. We therefore built the system in a way that allows for redundancy in detection so that if one sensor fails to trigger, other types most certainly would.
3) We had made initial claims of what we would have liked our project to do based on our honest assumptions at the time. As new data came to view, we determined that vibration tracking with the current demonstration board would be infeasible and revised our claims in the weekly progress report.
5) We undertook the task of understanding how vibration sensors could help us to determine positioning of a person walking in a room. We have at least within our local spheres improved the understanding of the limitations of timing measurements off of signals through non-uniform media.
6) Both of use increased our technical competence after spending long hours working with analog circuits previously unfamiliar, and Visual Basic for interfacing with the security system in ways we hadn't done before. After familiarizing ourselves with stepper motors and writing controlling functions for them, we were in the position to help several other groups also implementing stepper motors in their design.
9) Despite a constant barrage of buzzers, beepers, video game tunes, and other laboratory irritants, we managed to avoid injuring others and their property in the lab for the duration of the project.