|69||Posture-sensing Smart Chair
The problem that we are hoping to address in our senior design project is poor posture when sitting in a chair, particularly in the workplace. Back problems due to slouching have reached record levels as people spend more and more time sitting in cubicles, hunched over a computer for hours upon hours every single day. We think we would especially benefit from this project because all three of us have had experience dealing with kyphotic posture. Brian personally have tried to correct his posture through physical therapy, Geonil's friends and family often told him "You're slouching, you should stop using computer so much", and Steven had anterior pelvic tilt in the past. All three of us use computers all day and night and there is nothing to keep us in check throughout the day. By using our product, we hope to make people more aware of the way they are sitting and allow them to track their progress as they try to break the habit! Although there is a similar project from Spring 2018, we are really passionate about this project and wish to continue with this chair idea.
We propose a solution to this problem by creating a smart chair that analyzes an individual’s sitting posture using a combination of range and pressure sensors.This chair will read data off two systems -- the back posture and the positioning of the seat. Since we want our back to be as straight as possible, we will have the range sensors adjusted accordingly to match the distance to an individual’s back. In addition we will have the pressure sensors detect their position on the seat. The chair will match both of the data to determine whether to blink green or red LEDs on the chair. As a minimum viable product, the user will be alerted when they begin to slouch (via LED, vibration, beep, etc) but we also hope to incorporate some sort of application that would allow them to track their progress overtime.
- Sensors: We plan to use ultrasonic sensors to measure distances between the chair and several points in one’s back. We also plan to use an array of pressure sensors in the seat bottom and back.
- Transmitter: Sensor data will be transmitted to computer for processing via USB (or potentially bluetooth time permitting)
- Power: We are considering a few options to power the sensors/other external components: drawing power through USB, regular AC power, or potentially a rechargeable battery if feasible.
- Software: We plan to receive data from the sensors and send them to a computer software to see if the user’s back is slouched. Once the software analyzes the data, it will send a signal back to the LEDs in the chair. These LEDs will determine whether or not the corresponding position of the sensor is in a good range using green or red.
Criterion for Success:
- Product is able to successfully determine between good and bad posture.
- The user is able to see if his or her posture is acceptable through the LEDs on the chair.
- The user is able to visualize his or her posture data through a web interface.
- Stretch goals: Wireless (bluetooth and battery for power), vibration for alerting the using in addition to LEDs
Since our project is similar to a previous project from Spring 2018, we were proposing to analyze and determine an individual's sitting posture differently. Our chair has two subsystems that will gather data together. The back system will have an array of HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensors vertically aligned to map out an individual's back. The seating position system will have a grid of pressure sensors to determine the positioning. We understand that since everyone has different physiques there would be a calibration system for accurate measuring. With the data that we receive from both systems, we can record and display visually the data through a web app to show gradual progression. The chair will also be programmed to take incremental snapshots of a user's current sitting position to be saved in a database for viewing. Since the previous project's main purpose is to notify the user in live time whether they are in a good/bad position, our project better reads the information for users to improve on the long run.