This project aims to create an electronic people-counting system for large, indoor events at Arizona State University (ASU). Initially, the project will target  ASU’s Engineering Career Fair, which must maintain accurate counts of the number of people in each Memorial Union (MU) room to ensure no room exceeds the fire occupancy limit. Currently, ASU employs student volunteers to manually track the number of people in a given room with hand counters. While this helps ASU’s student organizations acquire Dean’s Funding Points for club activities and helps ASU’s safety officials run a safe event, this manual method of counting individuals in a room can be error prone and inefficient. Hence, this project seeks to increase people-counting accuracy at ASU events, increase the availability of room data to ASU safety officials, and provide a mobile system that can be easily deployed on a per-need basis.

To achieve these three goals, this project proposes establishing a wireless sensor network that publishes the number of occupants in a given room to a central server. This server will maintain a head count for each room the system is configured to cover, so when ASU’s safety officials wish to check the room counts, they can use their client software to query the server room data. The current approach is to develop the sensor unit using a Raspberry Pi and an infrared sensor. The sensor forwards its data to the Raspberry Pi, and the computer processes the data, updates its room count, and transmits its room count to the server via HTTP. The server computer will also be a Raspberry Pi, and it will handle all traffic from the sensor-clients and display-clients. ASU security will have a desktop and mobile client program to query this server’s data. Work-to-date includes sensor research, ultrasonic sensor prototyping, server setup, client request testing, and display prototyping.

Team Members:

Thomas Duke, Computer Systems Engineering

Nick Ingram, Junior, Computer Science

Nicholas Iwanski, Sophomore, Electrical Engineering

Fenil Patel, Sophomore, Electrical Engineering

Seth Mazza, Freshman, Aerospace Engineering

Sergio Rodriguez, Sophomore, Computer Science


Community Partner: Jonathan Klane

Others Involved: Jeffrey Rensel