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Blink activated alarm

  • Rupert Powell
  • York
  • YO/19/1203:
  • In progress

The client is an advanced stage of MND and now can no longer press a button to alert his carers. The only ability he has now is to blink. He needed a way to alert the carers using only blinks.

The solution

The solution is to utilise a small yet powerful Raspberry Pi single board computer. Using the Raspberry Pi camera, the device can see the client’s face and using a custom written Python based software, the system can detect the eyes and also if they are open or closed. This can then be used to detect blinking.

The device also has a display which shows a number between 0 and 3. Each time the client blinks the number increments. If he blinks 3 times within a specific time limit the alarm is raised.

Currently the device works during the daytime and I am now working on a modified version that will work in total darkness, using IR illumination and an IR camera. The device has been nicknamed OTB (On The Blink)

The unit is also completely maintainable remotely, including software updates and adjustment. This was essential as the client is situated in Hanoi, Vietnam!

All the electronics for this project were kindly supplied FoC by RS Components.

The benefit

During the day the client can now raise his carer’s alarm, which before he could not. Soon he will also be able to do the same at night too.

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2 responses to “Blink activated alarm”

  1. Rupert Powell says:

    I am currently working on a revised version that will also work at night (Infra-red). After I have completed this I may look at producing a version that would be available for purchase. This may be some time off yet though.
    Please send me a PM to rupert AT and I can talk to you in more detail about the matter.

    Thanks for the comment.


  2. Nigel middleton says:

    Hi our daughter has MND and is unable to move anything except her head and her eyes , She has no voice left and when she is in bed and her partner falls asleep she struggles to alert him if she is having a problem she usually watches tv until falling asleep but needs something like this device to work at night if she wakes and needs to summon assistance …can you tell me more about if it is available to buy ?
    Thanks Nigel

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