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IoT applications for personal protective equipment monitoring

Gianluca Favale

IoT applications for personal protective equipment monitoring.

Rel. Danilo Demarchi, Paolo Motto Ros. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Elettronica (Electronic Engineering), 2021


In recent years, the development of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is increasingly leading companies priorities, given the primary importance of protecting workers health. We live in a society organised like a perfect mechanism of a watch. Each person is a fundamental piece of that mechanism and performs an essential job without which society would not survive. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that over 1 million workers die every year. Equally tragic is the number of those who remain more or less severely disabled due to accidents at work. It is necessary to develop an electronic system to recognise the wearing of PPE to achieve continuous and reliable monitoring. During this system's design, many challenges arise which address new approaches to the problem. This thesis investigates a monitoring system's feasibility for PPE gloves through capacitive sensing to recognise two different case scenarios: the wearing and not of a PPE. The innovative aspect of the project consists of the decision of respecting two crucial tight constraints. Firstly, it must be simple and easily accessible to be integrated with any other type of electronics. Secondly, it must exhibit low current consumption during the device's run-time and sleep-time. This achievement comes with the programming of an ultra-low-power microcontroller unit (MCU) produced by Texas Instruments Inc. (i.e., MSP430G2553) equipped with capacitive sensing through the relaxation oscillation technique. Some improvements are employed to achieve the lowest possible consumption, consisting of picking the slowest internal clock source and dividing it furtherly thanks to frequency divisors' presence. A campaign of tests on people of different age and gender is carried out to check the MCU's response to the insertion and removal of the hand from the protective glove. The statistical distribution of the collected data shows promising results with a clear marked difference concerning the wearing or not of the PPE. Moreover, different electrode's dimensions are analysed to find a trade-off between the sensing area and sensitivity. Finally, the MCU, during its active, standby, and sleep mode, is tested, extracting each case’s peak and mean current values. The obtained results are satisfying since they meet the simplicity and low power requirements (i.e., a few tens of uW). Hence, it is reasonable to move towards further improvements and developments of this system, from a firmware and hardware standpoint, as future works to get to an industrial production level.

Relators: Danilo Demarchi, Paolo Motto Ros
Academic year: 2020/21
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 97
Additional Information: Tesi secretata. Fulltext non presente
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Elettronica (Electronic Engineering)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-29 - ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: Politecnico di Torino
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/17923
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