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The recognition and detection shall be implemented for an infrared camera. The image contains colors of red, orange, yellow, green and blue that represent the actual temperature of the object. In order to detect hear and implicitly the human body in the picture, colors of red, orange and yellow are processed. First, they are going to be transformed to white color, such that the shape of the body can be determined, following that the actual position can be determined. The code is written in C/C++, by using opencv library for image processing. The localization is done as described above, but there are some downsides. If an object emanates heat, then it might be recognized by the system and might interfere with the actual body recognition. The second downside is that if the kids are carried by somebody, the system will recognize only one person.
The recognition and detection shall be implemented for an infrared camera. The image contains colors of red, orange, yellow, green and blue that represent the actual temperature of the object. In order to detect hear and implicitly the human body in the picture, colors of red, orange and yellow are processed. First, they are going to be transformed to white color, such that the shape of the body can be determined, following that the actual position can be determined. The code is written in C/C++, by using opencv library for image processing. The localization is done as described above, but there are some downsides. If an object emanates heat, then it might be recognized by the system and might interfere with the actual body recognition. The second downside is that if the kids are carried by somebody, the system will recognize only one person.

=== The working of the system ===
=== The working of the system ===

Revision as of 20:53, 10 June 2017

Group Members

  • Sjoerd van Helden 0893960
  • Stijn Middelhuis 0947014
  • Roy Niemark 0956824
  • Andrei Pintillie 0980402
  • Dennis Struver 0955477

General information

Below the progress after the first two weeks is given. There has been worked on several different assignments and the work of the first week is improved.

Meeting outcome

Agreements for meetings: Monday after presentation/feedback we have a meeting of 1 hour. After that we can work on the divided Self Study Assignments (SSA’s) if we want but that is optional. When needed, there can also be a meeting planned at thursday afternoon.

Keep our wiki up to date, the wiki will be checked on Sunday evening for the feedback on Monday.

Chosen subject:

  • SMART Home for children – Make the house safe for children, lock doors, keep cabinets locked, give alerts to the parent, turn down the hot water. Important: Cost (USE perspective).

Project definition

Below the project is defined by elaborating the subject, goal, approach, objectives, deliverables and the planning.


The safety of a child. For a parent this is all that matters. But keeping their child safe all time is a very time consuming job. Having to constantly watch the child and making sure the activity the child is performing is safe costs a lot of time and effort. The home is of importance when analyzing child injuries. It is the environment in which young children grow up in and achieve developmental milestones. A child’s injury risk within the home is a joint interaction between the parents, the child and the environment. Both unintentional and intentional injuries are of importance as the majority of infant/child homicides occur in the home. Most of the accidents take place at home. The most severe injuries are associated with heat-related accidents and falls from high places, so even if the most accidents were encountered in the living/dining room, the most serious ones happen in the kitchen and on the stairs. Regarding the falls, around 10 children die each year by this accident. But, mostly, children that fall from stairs or high places encounter trauma and possible some visible post-accident problems.

In Europe, about 38% of fatal injuries to children between 0-9 years occurred at home. In the USA, this was about 10%. The top four causes of unintentional fatal home injuries for children between 0-14 years were drowning/submersion, fire/flames, poisoning and falls. These causes accounted for almost 75% of all home injury deaths in Europe. Of this 75%, about 15% of the fatal home injuries are because of falls.

In comparison to fatal injuries, non-fatal injuries at home account for about 45% of the non-fatal injuries in Europe and for about 34-46% in the USA. In Europe, for children under 5 years 59% of these injuries are caused by falls from height or other falls. As age increases, the home injuries decreases. For children from 5 to 9, 38% of the non-fatal injuries happen at home. In the USA, for children between 0-9 years falls accounted for the largest amount of injuries. Falls from furniture and child care products are the most predominant ones for children younger than 1 year old. For the older age groups injury by falls still predominantly are indoors (falling of stairs, the bed and tripping over objects like toys). For children younger than 5 years old falling out of the window is significant compared to the other age groups.

Technology has been making a lot of progress over the years and this will keep on going. Since there is a lot possible nowadays, more ideas can be realized. One of the new technologies that is growing fast is a SMART House system. A SMART House is becoming will be more well-known and will extend more as we go into the future. The concept that has been conceived is an extension to the concept of a SMART Home. This SMART home will not be focusing on solely on luxury or care giving, but on enhancing the safety of children. This system will focus on preventing certain dangerous situations and reduce the accidents that occur at home. The concept will be installable in every house with the implementations that are relevant. The house will then provide certain actions with the equipment that it has available to keep the children more safe. The system needs to be able to detect where a person is in the house or in a room, but also recognize if it is a parent or a child. When it is able to do that, it also needs to be able to communicate with its other components that can prevent danger in the house, and take action when the child is approaching such a dangerous situation. When it is able to distinguish parents and children, the parents will not experience any obstruction from the system. Also it does not need to take the same actions when the child is with a parent because this situation is a lot less dangerous.

The concept can be used for children of an age between 1 and 9 years old. In this age-category, children are most likely to have serious accidents at home. Also, children at that age are able to move around the house and interact with objects by itself, but are not able to stay at home by themselves. The accidents and injuries that are going to be focused on reducing are injuries due to poisoning, falls and thermal injuries. The concept of this SMART Home will keep the child away from dangerous situations and/or objects, and when it is not able to take appropriate action it will alert the parents. For example, when the system detects that the child is near a sink with hot water, it shuts down the hot water so the child can not burn itself.


Since today's technology goes pretty far already, there is a lot possible considering a SMART Home. Yet when this needs to be adapted and be a perfect fit for your child's safety, some factors and aspects need to be researched and designed for this purpose. Our goal is to reduce accidents and injuries of children in their home by extending the concept of the SMART Home with respect to child safety, while keeping the technological, ethical and financial aspects in mind. In this project a specific part of a home will be addressed and a specific accident category will be targeted. To extend the concept of the SMART Home we will research and design the system needed for the part that is going to be addressed, evaluate this in detail and look at the concept and how this can be applied to other parts of the house. How this will be achieved will be explained in the Approach and Objectives.


To reach our goal it is necessary to gather specific and discrete information about frequent occurring accidents and injuries of children. Then such a SMART Home system with its focus on the safety of the child will be researched and the possibilities and the techniques will be exploited. Therefore, detection hardware systems that satisfy the requirements of this system will be analysed and researched and the best option for this concept will be recommended. The requirements for this system and what the possibilities are will be elaborated further on in this project. Since the detection is the most important part of this system this needs to be viable in order to let the system work and will get the most attention. In this project a part of such a SMART Home system will be addressed and elaborated. The focus will lie on one accident category and in the end of the project a specific part of the system will be designed and evaluated in detail. Finally the designed part of the SMART Home system will be applied to more parts in the house. With example situations and simulations the designed system for the specific part and other parts of the house will be evaluated. In this project, it is important to evaluate the impact of the system, to stay close to the users and user needs, to address the ethics and USE-aspects and to keep in mind the cost and benefit. Thus when designing the system the users, cost and benefit will receive a lot of attention and the final stage of the project will be dedicated to the evaluation with respect to impact, USE-aspect and overall benefit.


Following the approach and considering the goal of this project the following objectives can be derived:

O1: Gather information about frequent child accidents and injuries in the home

To be able to implement a system that enhances the safety of children, it needs to be clear where the most accidents happen, what kind of accidents actually happen and how severe the injuries are. Then different situations can be considered and different safety issues can be targeted.

O2: Research the potential dangers, and potential prevention When the kind of accidents that happen frequently are known, we want to know how these can happen and how this can be prevented. When the potential dangers are known, it is important that the system is able to recognize these dangers or to know how it can reduce them. The dangers that have to be prevented need to be implemented into the system, and the action that belongs to preventing the danger also has to be implemented.

O3: Find the best option for detection and recognition

To be able to distinguish an adult from a child, the system has to be able to recognize different subjects. The system will need to operate mostly when a child is alone or not supervised.

O4: Define and work out a specific accident category and situation in the house

We want to narrow down the concept due to the time window that is available for this project. We will choose a specific situation and target a specific accident category that is of higher importance but also that will use a concept that is suitable for different situations as well.

O5: Design and evaluate the part of the system for the specifications determined in O4

Consider all the important factors, such as user, ethics and cost, to design a concept for the specific situation that will reduce a certain risk of an accident category. Take into account safety margins and user needs, but also possibilities for extensions.

O6: Simulate different situations to show usability, operating and impact of the concept

When a concept is designed we will use simulations to visualize how it works and what it can do. Also this will show extensions and possibilities.


  • Documentation of the research and literature study
  • Preliminary design: Stairs(drawings)
  • Scenario descriptions (simulations) of the designed system for the stairs. (visualisation)
    • Gate
    • Sensors
    • Stairs
    • Child
  • Evaluation of the system with respect to the impact(?), USE-aspects, ethics and cost-benefit

Project planning

For a project it is important to have a good project planning. Below the planning for this project is given. The weekplanning and a role distribution is made to keep track of the progress and provide a guideline while working on this project. The planning follows the process and sets several milestones that are important to achieve. The planning is made at the begin of the project and has some room for adjustments, if necessary. In week 4 we made some changes to the project definition and narrowed down the subject. This had a significant impact on our planning and thus the planning is adjusted with the changed definition, to make sure the milestones are achieved properly with the time that is left.

During every week, the wiki should be updated with the progress made up until that point. The last week is dedicated to preparing for the final presentation and finalizing the wiki. The weekplanning below contains some more specific detail to the different steps that need to be taken in this project.

The general approach of this project consists of the following milestones (for more detail see the planning itself):

  1. Research background, state of the art and similar existing systems
  2. Research detection and recognition technologies with the respect to our subject
  3. Draw conclusions and recommendations for the detection possibilities
  4. Designing a part of the system focused on a specific situation
  5. Evaluate the designed system with simulations and work out possible extensions or adjustments
  6. Evaluate the cost, benefit and impact of SMART Home system and the detection possibilities


Week 1

  • Determine the subject
    • Formulate the problem
    • Create idea’s for a concept
    • Objectives
    • Involved users
  • Research about background, state of the art and similar existing systems
  • Create planning and presentation

Week 2

  • Continuing the research
    • Children and accidents
    • Existing SMART Homes and its collaboration with safety measures
    • Typical house environments for children
    • State of the art technology that could be implemented or used.
    • Existing systems made for safety of children
    • User benefit
  • Determine important and critical points of interest
  • Look into the subject from a USE perspective and determine relevant USE aspects

Week 3

  • Finish the background research (Milestone 1)
  • Start research about the detection possibilities
    • Existing technologies
    • Requirements and options for this project
    • How and what can be accomplished in our project with which technology
    • State-of-the-art options
  • Conceptualize the subject to a specific and detailed design question (Milestone 2)
    • Composition of the room
    • Components (technological) which can be used
    • Elaboration of the design requirements

Adjusted planning for weeks 4 up until 9:

At the beginning of week 4 we decided to narrow down our project. Instead of looking at all possible dangers for children in a home and how to tackle them, we now only focus on one of the biggest causes of both fatal and non-fatal injuries, falls from the stairs. This means that we do not have to consider the whole house, but only the stairways and the halls towards the stairways. Therefore we have to change our planning. Here is the new planning for the following weeks:

Week 4

  • Narrow down the subject and elaborate on the choices
    • Assumptions made
    • Determine the deliverables
    • What is taken into account and what is not?
    • Why are they taken into account or not?
  • Research the possibilities of localization
    • Proximity detection between child and certain points
    • Badges/bracelets
    • Ultrasound
    • Infrared sensors
  • Research the possibilities of person recognition/detection
    • Difference between a child and an adult

Week 5

  • Research the necessary information for design a system
    • State of the art technology (for stairway gates)
    • Movement speed of the children
    • Closing speed of such a gate
    • Safety settings for the system in combination with the localization (safety margins to be sure the gate is closed in time)
    • System settings (specified to age and preference of the parents)
  • Designing the system following the design question
    • Which localization and recognition/detection will be used?
    • What technical hardware will be implemented?
    • How will this be programmed and setup?
    • How will the system work?

Week 6

    • Finish the design for the specified purpose
    • Describe several scenarios
    • Pros and cons of the designed system
    • Possible extensions and settings
  • Evaluated the design for the specified purpose
    • What can/will it do?
    • Possibilities and usability
    • Cost of this part of the system
  • Application of this part in a SMART home system
    • Extension to a bigger system
    • Application of this system in other parts of the house

Week 7

  • Work out the application in a whole house
    • Different options for localization/detection
    • System settings and extensions
  • Evaluate the designed system
    • Benefit for the users
    • Impact from the perspective of USE

Week 8

  • Accomplish recommendations and conclusion for designing such a system
  • Elaborate on the different detection/recognition and localization possibilities and their pros and cons
  • Elaborate and conclude the evaluation and impact of such a system

Week 9

  • Finish, prepare and give the presentation
  • Finish the wiki
    • Reorganize if necessary
    • Check the progress
    • Complete the final wiki page

Role distribution

Task name Start End Duration (days) Role distribution
Determine the subject 24-4-2017 25-4-2017 1 Everyone
Create the planning 24-4-2017 1-5-2017 7 Dennis, Roy
Background and state of the art research 24-4-2017 8-5-2017 14 Sjoerd, Andrei
USE perspective and aspects 24-4-2017 8-5-2017 14 Stijn, Dennis, Roy
Research detection possibility 8-5-2017 22-5-2017 3 Sjoerd, Roy, Andrei
Conceptualize and design 8-5-2017 11-5-2017 3 Dennis, Stijn
Elaborate the design 22-5-2017 25-5-2017 3 Sjoerd, Stijn
Research processing 22-5-2017 25-5-2017 3 Sjoerd, Dennis
Simulations 25-5-2017 7-6-2017 13 Roy, Stijn, Andrei
Evaluate the research 7-6-2017 12-6-2017 5 Dennis, Roy
Evaluate the design 7-6-2017 12-6-2017 5 Sjoerd, Andrei, Stijn

Gantt Chart

Gantt Chart.PNG



The primary users of the system are the parents of the children and the children themselves. The parents are the one that will buy the system. The parent will have the system installed into their house, and will expect the system to help them protect their children. The children are the ones that the systems is designed for and are therefore also primary users, however the children will barely know that the system is there. The secondary users of the system are older children, nannies and other people who visit the house. The secondary users will know that the system is there and will sometimes notice it’s actions, but will not be affected by it most of the time. When a secondary user is in the room with a child that is protected by the house, the actions of the system will be slightly different since the child is under supervision at that moment. The tertiary users are the technicians. The technicians have to make sure that the system is easily installed and removed. They will also be the ones that conduct maintenance when necessary.


Being able to stay in touch with your customers is the best outcome that a salesman can achieve. The business model for smart houses is just at its beginning, which means that there is plenty of space for new developments and ideas that can create a strong bond between the users and the merchants. Even if there are few sectors that might suffer because of this new created area, most of the actors in the project are going to benefit. As main enterprise actors can be included the retailers, companies that provide technology and the safety companies. In the vision of this project, a safe smart house is intended to keep the children safe from most dangers that can occur.

But how exactly will enterprise profit by this new area of interests[1]? First, it is necessary to be specified that the entrepreneurs will take a significant role in the safe smart house area. They are going to provide the necessary technology and safety regulations. So, the next three points represent the main interests of the enterprise:

  • Increased products sales
  • Pay-as-you-go house services
  • Service bundles and loyalty-based models

The first point is stated as Increased hardware sales. A safe smart house contains more than just ordinary hardware that has to be created. It needs smart products which have been tested and do not represent a problem for most types of users. A product that shall be able to connect to the house facilities and integrate properly. As you can speculate, this means a lot of revenue from selling these items. A second point is represented by the pay-as-you-go house services. Besides the payment for the smart technology that might occur, users shall be able to pay for their health and safety, which means that the retailers could improve the software of a machine to increase the safety level on the amount of money you are willing to pay. Also, new devices could be added later as you pay when you think you need them. The last point is represented by service bundles and loyalty-based models which include the creation of packages that can be bought cheaper than the actual cost of all the devices together. For example the Vivint smart home project aims on selling subscriptions instead of individual devices, which can increase the amount of money gain in time.

A smart home would enable retailers to develop a close relationship with their clients through the smart devices which are placed in the home. It means that in case of a problem that occurs, retailers will be able to find a solution or to recommend new products directly to the customers. Retailers could treat the smart-home devices exactly like automobiles and possibly allowing 3rd party companies to create hardware and software for the project. The greatest achievement is represented by the possibility to seduce young people, “tech savvy consumers”[2] and the fast possibility of adds presentation and close connection to the users.

The enterprise point of view of this project would not be much different than a normal smart house. The addition of making it safe will involve some more actors like people that provide hardware tools for safety and software developers that need to develop more than just a self-aware house that can notify the user. It should also react and protect the kids. As an entrepreneur, everything related to this idea is reduced to money. On the other side of this new possibilities offered by this technology is the security aspect, both in physical and software ways. In the software ways, smart houses are going to be the target of hackers[3], which can use the technology designed to keep you safe in wrong ways. That’s why the entrepreneurs have to invest a lot of money in secure software and invest even more when their products are hijacked. Besides the financial costs, the missing security in software can turn the population against the usage of such a technology.


Parenting can be stressful and there can be multiple reasons for that. Among those reasons are: time demands, relationship demands (related to time demands), protective instinct/uncertainty and a lack of alone time.[4] [5]

Stress is bad for the parents itself but it also affect the child negatively. Parental stress can lead to mental health problems (depression, anxiety, internalizing behaviour) among children already at a young age and it negatively affects their externalizing behaviour.[S3][S4][S5] Externalizing behaviour is usually associated with multiple disorders like Antisocial Personality disorder, Oppositional defiant disorder, pyromania among others.[6] It has also been shown that parental fatigue can have a negative effect on a child but also affects parental practices.[S7]

The problems that result from parental stress and fatigue are detrimental for society. Children with mental health issues will need to get treated for that which cost money and time and it might never be fully healed. For example the risk of recurrence after a first major depressive episode is 50% and increases with subsequent episodes (Post, 1992, Kupfer et al., 1996, American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Children with mental health problems will perform worse in school and other places than healthy children. If their mental health problems are never healed it will affect their adult lives as well. Parental fatigue might lead to bad parenting which also isn’t desirable.

This means that society benefits from a solution to parental stress and fatigue which our SMART home provides. Our SMART home can tackle the reasons mentioned in the beginning and help reduce parental fatigue.

However a SMART home that protects a child from any kind of harm within the house can be negative for the child’s development and mental health. Multiple studies have shown that overprotective parenting affects the child’s mental health, anxiety disorder is the most common one.[S8][S9][S10][S11][S12] This wouldn’t be beneficial to society because this would impair a child’s productivity and quality of life. More recently the Dutch institution VeiligheidNL argued that parents should allow their children to take on more risks, because that would be beneficial to their development.[7] [8] [9] The potential benefits that a SMART home would have for society would be offset by these problems.

[S3] Costa, N.M., Weems, C.F., Pellerin, K. et al. J Psychopathol Behav Assess (2006) 28: 113. doi:10.1007/s10862-006-7489-3

[S4] Jones, H.A., Putt, G.E., Rabinovitch, A.E. et al. J Child Fam Stud (2017) 26: 225. doi:10.1007/s10826-016-0547-x

[S5] Bayer, J. K., Sanson, A. V., Hemphill, S.A. et al. J Applied Developmental Psychology (2006) 27: 542. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2006.08.002

[S7] Cooklin, A. R., Giallo, R. and Rose, N. (2012), Parental fatigue and parenting practices during early childhood: an Australian community survey. Child: Care, Health and Development, 38: 654–664. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01333.x

[S8] Oldehinkel, A. J., Veenstra, R., Ormel, J., De Winter, A. F. and Verhulst, F. C. (2006), Temperament, parenting, and depressive symptoms in a population sample of preadolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47: 684–695. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01535.x

[S9] Heider, D., Matschinger, H., Bernert, S. et al. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2008) 43: 266. doi:10.1007/s00127-007-0302-0

[S10] Nishikawa, S., Sundbom, E. & Hägglöf, B. J Child Fam Stud (2010) 19: 57. doi:10.1007/s10826-009-9281-y

[S11] Overbeek, G., ten Have, M., Vollebergh, W. et al. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2007) 42: 87. doi:10.1007/s00127-006-0115-6

[S12] Martina K. Gere, Marianne A. Villabø, Svenn Torgersen, Philip C. Kendall, Overprotective parenting and child anxiety: The role of co-occurring child behavior problems, Journal of Anxiety Disorders (2012), 26: 642, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2012.04.003

Research outcomes

Research about accidents and injuries of children at home in the USA and EU


Home related accidents

Nowadays, there is a big factor that influence the life of children all around the globe which is represented by the dangers in their own environment, in their own homes. According to rospa article[10], more than £275 million a year is spend for these types of accidents. Even if the word “home” should mean a high level of safety, relaxation and good mood, there are cases where it might endanger the life of people you love. According to another article[11], most of the accidents take place at home. Children below nine are more exposed than the older kids, mostly because of unconscious acts that they do not percept.


As presented in the diagram above, children below one year have the highest chance to be implied in an accident, mostly because of suffocation and choking caused by their curiosity to examine things around them by putting the objects in their mouths. The most severe injuries are associated with heat-related accidents and falls from high places, so even if the most accidents were encountered in the living/dining room, the most serious ones happen in the kitchen and on the stairs. According to the World Health Organization[12], most of the heat related accidents happened because of hot liquids(scalds), hot solids(contact burns), or flames(flame burns). These accidents regularly lead ask for hospitalization and longtime recovery. Often it leads to a lack of self-esteem and public rejection, which for a kid could affect the entire life. So, a good way to stop the curiosity of children to play with matches or taste hot liquids is more than necessary. Regarding the falls, around 10 children die each year by this accident. But, mostly, children that fall from stairs or high places encounter trauma and possible some visible post-accident problems.

Other home related accidents are poisoning and drowning.

Another study[13] states that more than two million calls per year are about exposure to poison, from which almost all of them occur at home and 80% are related to children between 1 and 4 years. As stated in the same article, the first tip to prevent poisoning is to install locks/childproof latches on all cabinets to restrict access to children, but in most cases, to keep a physical key is not really easy and it costs you a lot of time to lock/unlock it. Also, you might forget to lock it back, in case which just one mistake can cost the life of your beloved child. This tip is strong enough because it includes most of the others inside it(“store … out of reach and out of sight of children”, “make sure medications are in child-resistant containers”).

Related to drowning it is known that infants do not know how to swim, float or avoid dangerous situations, so just a few cm height of water can provoke drowning. According to CDC article[14], children aged between 1 and 4 have the highest drowning rate. From all the possible accidents, almost one third are related to drowning which often occurs in the home swimming pools. In this case, the parent shall be almost in permanent presence of the child, but in any special circumstances, a system that will announce you in time, or prevent the accident can be handy.

Unintentional home injury death's

From 1992 to 1999, there was an average of 146.970 injury related deaths annually in the United states, with an average annual injury death rate of 54.90 per 100.000 persons. This is a total of all age groups and all possible injuries, in and outside the house. In table 1, the location of the fatal unintentional injuries are listed.

Category n %
Transportation-related injuries 44.830 49
All other injuries
Home 18.018 20
Other 11.762 13
Unknown 14.596 16
Blank 1.622 2

Of the injuries with known location, an average of 18.048 unintentional injury deaths occurred annually in the home environment. This represents an annual rate of 6.83 deaths per 100.000 persons. Although the location was not recorded for the 44.830 transportation-related injury deaths, some proportion of those deaths may also have taken place in the home environment such as yards and driveways. This are all the fatal injuries with known locations for all age groups, for us only the age group of 1 to 9 is important. In table 2 is listed what the average annual unintentional home injury death rate is per age group. This table also shows how many accidents occured by males and females. This is not interesting for us, only the last group, the total, is relevant.

Table 2.PNG

In this table it can be clearly seen that 10.1 % of all the fatal home injuries which have occurred in the home annual, were in the age group 0 to 9. This is a significant number and shows that fatal child injuries inside a home is a real problem. Key for us is now to determine what the cause is of this big number so the system can prevent fatal injuries on this.

In figure one, there is a graph which clearly shows the major causes of injury fatalities by a range of age groups.


Apparently, fires and burns, inhalation and suffocation and drowning were the leading causes of unintentional home injury deaths among children aged from 0 to 15 years old. Fire/burn deaths were the leading cause for children from 1 to 9 years old and drowning the second leading cause. For children below the age of 1 inhalation and suffocation was the leading cause and fire/burns the second, this is not visible in the graph. Nearly all fire/burn injury deaths among children aged below 15 were the result of residential fires. The majority of drowning deaths among infants occurred in bathtubs.

Unintentional home injury death rates among children varied by age, with infants having the highest death rate. An average of 469 children aged below 1 year died each year in the united states as a result of a home injury, in which the majority were due to choking and suffocation incidents (62,8%). Children aged between 1 and 4 years had the second highest rate of home injury death per year, in which the majority of 75% were the result of residential fires and drownings (43.7% respectively 29.3%). These numbers show that the system really can make a difference with injuries due to choking, drowning and fire/burns. But there is an objection. These results are originating from an average death rate from 1992 to 1999. One can say that the safety then was worse than it is now and that therefore these numbers are not significant anymore. But this is not exactly the case.

From 2000 to 2008, there was an annual average of 30.569 unintentional injury deaths occurring in the home environment in the U.S.. This number is almost twice as high as in 1999 where the annual unintentional home injury deaths were just more than 18.000. In figure 2 it becomes clear that the most unintentional injury deaths are caused by poisoning, fall, fire/burn and choking/suffocation. This does shows that these causes are also the biggest issues from the year 2000 to 2008


In figure 3 the age-adjusted rate of unintentional home injury death’s is shown.


One can clearly see that the 3 major causes of unintentional home injury death of the age group 0 to 9 are suffocation, drowning an fire/burn. Comparing this with the other numbers of the research from 1992 to 1999 is this the same result. It is clear that the fatalities inside a house for children stay about the same looking at the results from 1992 to 2008. Therefor we assume that these causes are nowadays still present and the system can make a difference when looking at Suffocation, Drowning and fire/burn.

Unintentional non-fatal home injury's

The non-fatal injury rate for children younger than 9 years old In the USA was 28054 per 100000 in 2000-2006. For this age group falls accounted for the largest amount of injuries. Getting struck by or against an object was the second largest cause of injuries. For children younger than 1 year old fires/burns accounted for about 5% of the total amount of injuries(compared to 52% for falls). For children aged 1-4 cuts/pierce account for 4% of the total amount of injuries(compared to 43% for falls) and for children aged 5-9 cuts/pierce account for 7% of the total amount(compared to 37% for falls). When children grow older outside related accidents(cycling and car related accidents) become more important.

Table 1: Top Five Leading Causes of Unintentional Injury Deaths and Nonfatal Injuries among Children 0 to 19 Years, by Age Group, United States, 2000–2006

Falls from furniture and child care products are the most predominant ones for children younger than 1 year old. For the older age groups injury by falls still predominantly are indoors(falling of stairs, the bed and tripping over objects like toys). For children younger than 5 years old falling out of the window is significant compared to the other age groups. Burns are most often happen in the kitchen or within the vicinity of hot water(bathtub), but hot beverages and food can also cause burn injuries. Especially children younger than 2 years old are at risk to be burned.

A study conducted in the late 1990’s also showed an alarming number of accidents that happen in the home environment. This study however included the yard, porch etc. into their definition of the home environment making the data not as solid, but it will still give a good insight for our purpose of the SMART home. The NHAMCS data indicate that nearly 9.8 million emergency department and 1.4 million outpatient hospital visits were made in 1999 for nonfatal, unintentional injuries that took place in a home environment as shown by table 2. Likewise, data obtained in the NHIS include 12922220 nonfatal unintentional home injuries, excluding poisonings, requiring some form of medical advice. NHIS data also show that ≥750000 persons aged ≥5 years were reported as missing at least 1 day of school, as a result of an unintentional home injury.

Table 2: National estimates of number of nonfatal, unintentional injuries, by location, United States, 1998–1999

Each data set identified falls as the most common mechanism of injury by far, accounting for 36.2% to 45.7% of the injuries or visits to healthcare providers for nonfatal unintentional home injury. The national estimates of the numbers and rate of having lost at least 1 day from work or school due to falls were 2145044 and 757044. Almost 4 million emergency department visits and 4.2 million office-based physician visits were made because of a fall in 1999. The second most common mechanism of injury varied according to data source. For visits recorded in the NAMCS, NHAMCS-OPD, and NHAMCS-ED data sets, being struck by or against an object was the second most common mechanism indicated, with visit rates per 100000 at 439, 63, and 591, respectively. In contrast, the NHIS data set identified cuts and piercing injuries as the second most common mechanism; the visit rate was 649 per 100000.

According to the data set people older than 65 are at the highest risk of getting injured followed by children younger than 14 years old as shown in figure 1. This shows that young children are at risk of unintenially injuring themselves via an accident at home. Among these children falls, cut/pierce and struck by/against are the main causes for an injury which is consistent with the data from the early 2000.

Figure 1: National estimates of the rate of non-fatal unintentional home injuries, or injury visits, by age group, United States, 1998–1999


Injuries are a leading public health threat to children in the WHO European Region. Many children die or experience pain and disability from injury throughout the Region. Children are especially vulnerable to injuries. They need special consideration to safeguard their right to health and to a safe environment, free from injury and violence, as emphasized by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every society is responsible for ensuring that this fundamental right is fulfilled. [1]

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among children aged 5-19 years. In 2004, 42 000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 years died from unintentional injuries in the WHO European Region. But the impact of injuries is much greater, with millions of hospitalizations and emergency care visits. [1]

Although injuries are a leading cause of the burden of disease and seriously drain health and societal resources, they have not been a high-priority area for action in most countries until recently. The leading mechanisms of death from unintentional injury in children are road traffic crashes, drowning, poisoning, thermal injuries and falls. [1]

The home is of particular importance when analysing child injuries as it is the environment in which young children grow up in and achieve developmental milestones by interacting with their physical surroundings. In just the United Kingdom alone, 75 children under 15 years of age died due to home injuries in 1 year, ∼25% of all child injury deaths. A child’s injury risk within the home is a joint interaction between the caregiver, the child and the home environment. Both unintentional and intentional injuries are of importance as the majority of infant/child homicides occur in the home and so do the majority of adolescent suicides in a teenager. [2]

In different countries from the East and West of Europe with variations in income levels. 60% of injuries to children under 1 year of age occurred in the home environment, compared to 11% in transport. In contrast to fatal transport injuries, which increased as age increased, Table 1 shows the fatal home injuries as highest in children under 5 years of age both in numbers and proportions of the total and then sharply decreasing. For children between 0-9 years the fatal injuries at home account for 38% of the total fatal injuries. [2]

Location of fatal injuries by age, average annual number and percent, 16 European countries, 2002-2004

The top four causes of unintentional fatal home injuries in children 0–14 years in all countries aggregated were drowning/submersion, fire/flames, poisoning and falls(Table 3). These causes accounted for almost 75% of all home injury deaths. [2]

Home injury deaths in 16 European countries, annual number, percentage, age 0-14, all causes, 2002-2004

In comparison to fatal injuries, non-fatal injuries at home account for about 45% of the non-fatal injuries. For children under 5 years 59% of these injuries are caused by falls from height or other falls. As age increases, the home injuries decreases. For children from 5 to 9, 38% of the non-fatal injuries happen at home. [3]

a) Main places of occurence of non-fatal child injuries by age group. b) Mechanisms of home injuries in children under 5 years of age.

So as can be seen in this data, fatal and non-fatal injuries under children happen more than often. Accidents and injuries at home account for a majority of the total injuries. Since these injuries are a big public health threat to children and have a big impact on the society, preventing these risks and accidents have to become more of a priority to satisfy the right to health and a safe environment as emphasized by the United Nations Convention. Since a big part of these injuries happen at home, this can be a good start to implement risk prevention and enhance the safety and decrease the injuries of children.

Sources: [1] http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/83757/E92049.pdf

[2] https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/eurpub/ckq047

[3] http://www.eurosafe.eu.com/uploads/inline-files/IDB_Report_2014_final%202010-2012.pdf

How would benefit USE actors from solving the home related accidents

The main problems that occurred in the USA and EU were related to falls, suffocation, burns, poisoning and drowning. These problems can be solved in different ways, but no matter what, the impact and influence of them is going to be almost the same on the USE aspects. From a user point of view, a solution to all of the home related accidents mean less stress, more time for your activities and less money invested in medications and other treatment methods. The level of stress shall be considerably reduced since the house is self-aware and can handle bad situations for you. Also, the time needed for securing all the objects in the house and make sure that nobody gets hurt is cut off.

The system shall lock the objects where kids should have access. If there occurs a special situation that the system cannot handle, the notification system still gets you informed. Indeed the system will save a lot of time to regular users. Regarding costs, this one time investment in a smart house can get long term results for users that, by avoiding accidents do not pay for medical treatments and medicine, which nowadays represents a really big business.

For the society aspects, less accidents mean more happiness and reduce mental disorders. The happiness level would increase hence most of the people feel upset when an ambulance comes into the neighborhood and has to deal with one of their beloved neighbors. Besides that, deaths reduce significantly the happiness mood for everybody. On the other hand, accidents to children can negatively impact the mental health of their parents who can feel irresponsible or bad parenting. These problems in most cases affect people on long term and as said also reduce the level of comfort in their own houses.

By looking at this problem on the enterprise side, solving such problems is reduced in all the cases to fortune and income. The smart houses are not widely popular because of skepticism of people about the efficiency of the products, but as like as smart cars, they will get a good place in the population’s sight in the next years. Since it is almost a new area, there are plenty of ways to earn money by investing in such a concept, for example smart products, sensors, actuators, different types of safety subscriptions or any other type of feature that needs a small amount of money to be bought. And the most important step would be the integration of adds in houses, which as stated in the enterprise aspects above, will generate a huge amount of money.

As a short summary, the solution to the home related accidents can influence in a positive way all the USE actors and their lives aspects.

Unreliability of Childproof equipment

Childproofing a house is using simple measures like locks and blockers to increase the safety of a house for a child. For example plug covers or plastic locks for a cabinet are used to childproof a house but. In short it’s denying physical access to a potential danger. Most of this childproof equipment is designed so that when installed grown-ups can still access these dangers. This means that childproofing is giving up some comfort in favour of child safety. For example a magnetic lock for a cabinet can’t be opened without the use of the magnet key which can be inconvenient if a grown-up doesn’t have that key and needs to go get it from a different room. [15] [16]

However these safety measures do not guarantee safety for the child. This is because a child becomes stronger and more clever when they become older and because these safety measures are designed so that adults and seniors can still open them. Take for example safety caps that are used on medication and cleaning products. A 2 year old has a 2% of opening such a safety cap and if the child has observed an adult opening such a cap then this chance rises to 8%. For a 7 year old the chance to open it is already 60% and rises to 74% if it has observed an adult. The chances of opening such a cap increases with age and it shows that they aren’t reliable. Especially children who get the chance to watch there (grand)parents opening such a safety cap are able to open it later. A child only needs a couple of seconds to a minute to open a cap which means that parents keep an eye out constantly. [17] [18] [19] [U4]

One of the major reasons that children are able to open these caps is because seniors need to be able to open them as well. Seniors often need medication and if the safety cap is to diffecult to open than that can cause problems for the seniors health. A 60+ year old can generate about twice the torque then a 3-5 year old. However 8-12 year olds can already generate about 80% of the toque that a 60+ year can generate. This means that caps that can be opened by seniors, which are most of them, can also be opened by older children but also by above average younger children when it comes to strength or intelligence. Another reason why these caps can be opened is because of comfort. Adults who open such a cap will put stress on their hands joints which causes discomfort. If the caps are too hard to open then people will not buy them because of this discomfort. Also notable is that a 3-5 year old is able to generate more torque using a 3-fingered grip than any adult using a 2-fingered grip. The 3-fingered grip is the most common and the more natural grip to use to open such a cap which shows that a young child isn’t weak by any means.[U5][U6]

These examples show that children learn from their parents to open childproof safety measures which makes these safety measures less reliable. Also these safety measures aren’t made to be extremely difficult to open because adults need to be able to do that. The cleverness and persistence of children also shouldn’t be underestimated. For example 1 in 4 children in Ireland successfully opened the door of a moving car and about 76% was able to free themselves from their straps. The only solutions to combat such problems is for parent to be very observed of their children, but of course this isn’t always reasonable. Parent are humans and therefore will make mistakes or forget and that almost always results in problems with their child. [20]

[U4] M.J.Russell, Determining if Child Proof Containers Are Really Child Proof: Are Child Proof Containers Really Safe from Children? (2009)

[U5] Gabriel H.C. Bonfim, Fausto O. Medola, Luis C. Paschoarelli, Correlation among cap design, gripping technique and age in the opening of squeeze-and-turn packages: A biomechanical study, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Volume 54, July 2016, Pages 178-183, ISSN 0169-8141, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2016.06.004.

[U6] A. Yoxall, E.M. Rodriguez-Falcon, J. Luxmoore, Carpe diem, Carpe ampulla: A numerical model as an aid to the design of child-resistant closures, Applied Ergonomics, Volume 44, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 18-26, ISSN 0003-6870, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2012.04.006.

Localization systems

Infrared Localization

One way to locate an object is by making use of infrared (IR) sensors. Simple IR sensors are widely used nowadays in robotics and automation, process control, remote sensing, and safety and security systems. More specifically, they have been used in object and proximity detection, counting, distance and depth monitoring, floor sensing, position measurement and control, obstacle/collision avoidance, and map building. Since the great variety in applications of IR, it sounds promising for the detection of a child and the differentiating between adults and children. [21]

IR is also commonly used for face recognition systems, most of the time for safety reasons. Thermal face recognition deals with the face recognition system that takes the thermal heat of the face as an input. Thermal human face images are generated due to the thermal human body heat. Such a face recognition system would be also applicable for the differentiating a child from an adult. The generated thermal human face image of the observed person could be compared with an image of the child out of a database and in this way the system is able to differentiate the two. A downside of such a system is that the resolution of the thermal images are not very high. Also is it very plausible that the child will not always look straight into the camera, so different face position and also face expressions should be covered by the system. These downsides together with the high cost of such high end IR camera's makes this application of IR not interesting for this application. [22]

Since the costs of such a system, to be able to cope with the state of the art, has to be as low as possible, the localization system should not be too expensive. Therefore the applications of low cost IR camera's is investigated. These cameras are often not able to make a complete thermal image with high enough resolution of the object. To still be able to differentiate objects, the differentiating techniques employed should be different from such operations performed on conventional images. The targets which have to be differentiated are not patterns in a 2D imaged, but rather objects in space, exhibiting depth and at different positions with respect to the sensing system. This would be a common situation which often will occur when the system is in use. It turned out that simple and low cost IR cameras can achieve with differentiating objects accuracies of 80 percent. [23]

There are different techniques one can use to differentiate the geometry off an object. Here we only discuss the extension of a parametric surface differentiation approach to differentiate both geometry and surface face type. In our case, only the geometry is of relevance. [24]

It turned out that in geometry classification, the greatest difficulty is encountered in the differentiation of edges of different surface types. Surface differentiation was not as successful as geometry differentiation due to the similar characteristics of the feature vectors of different surface types for non-planar geometries. [25]

Since the aim is to differentiate children from adults, this would not be a problem. The geometry of children and adults is a major difference, a child is much smaller than an average adult. Therefore only a rough estimation of the size of the object is enough to differentiate a child from an adult. The geometry itself is therefore not important, one could approximate the child as a solid block. To determine the geometry of a child is also way too complex for such a low cost camera. Since it is possible to determine the size of an object, this technique would be suitable for this application.


Infrared can also be used in a different way. In the section above is discussed how IR sensors can be used to locate objects in an environment using the intensity of the reflected light. However, IR can also be used to locate objects by thermal mapping. There exists an indoor localization and monitoring system, which is based on a wireless and PIR (WPIR) sensory fusion system. The PIR sensor transforms incident IR radiation into an electrical signal. PIR detects changes in temperature coinciding with movement of a person or object in the environment. The output of the PIR sensor is in disorder for human movement detection. A human walking through a PIR sensor detecting region and the corresponding output signal is shown in figure L.1.

Figure L.1: The functionality of a PIR sensor

WPIR has proven it can monitor multiple targets with relative good resolution. This is promising for the smart house application, but it needs to be able to differentiate between adults and children. It is possible for WPIR to differentiate humans and robots. This because the signals the sensor recieves are different when a robot passes the sensor and when a human does. Based on this, WPIR is able to differentiate. But since the signal of adults and parents probebly will not differ much because the thermal properties are the same, WPIR needs some adjustments to be able to differentiate children from parents.

What is very promising of WPIR is that the implimentation is very easy and the costs are also low. The only hardware needed is a ceiling camera which can observe the environment. Since it is also possible to monitor multiple targets WPIR can still be suitable for this application, but then the problem of differentiation should be solved. [26]

Ultrasound Localization

The ultrasound system is not always on the point of view of the today technologies, but there is no reason to do this. Even the nature shows us that the ultrasound detection system works fine in any types of conditions. How exactly does it work? Bats have this power to orientate themselves only by using ultrasound waves that at the contact with objects return to the source. Based on the time of such a routine, the bat can detect exactly how far the objects are.


This feature sounds good and it seems to work, but there is a big counter argument for using it. Especially in our case, where the subjects are young children. This method is an invasive one, which in long run can cause a lot of problems, especially because of its chemical effects. As stated in “The chemical effects of ultrasound”[27], it can drive metal particles together at such high speeds that they melt at the point of collision, and ultrasound can generate microscopic flames in cold liquids. As it is already known, in blood there are different metals like Potassium, Iron, Calcium, Mercury, Sodium and many others which can react to ultrasound waves. Effects that can occur are related to headache, dizziness, and nausea, but most important one is the hearing damage. So far, the most difficult part of using such a technology is the long time exposure of subjects to it and the age range of our subject is below 9 years. Young people are more sensible to any types of factors compared to adults, hence it is difficult to integrate this technology into the current project analysis. The same document stated that the technology is useful for industrial applications because it can radiate through large volumes of liquid, but for our purpose, it will represent a barrier instead of a helping tool.

Camera Localization

Another detecting measure is the camera vision. This method is used nowadays for detection of terrorists by using facial recognition given by cameras or used for motion detection.


This alternative represents the best one for indoor usage for detecting people. It is not invasive, which means it can also be used to detect kids, it is cheap and efficient. But what is the state of art of such a technology? The latest cameras are connected to the internet of things which makes them smart. They are able to process via an Ai all the given images and provide helpful data. The bad side of it is represented by the privacy issues, but as it is already known, humans are spied via phone, laptops and other devices that they own[28], so, in time, having a camera in every single room will not represent a problem. A small improvement for all the skeptics is to provide a manual cover to close the camera vision while you consider it is not necessary. The main advantage of the concept is represented by Ai, which in the last years found a great development.

Another advantage is represented by the affordable price of it. Few cameras in all the rooms is all what you need to implement the recognition system. The software has to be done once and it can installed everywhere. Besides the cheap cost and non-intrusive effects, it is also efficient, because it can help to detect new people that might visit you, to determine if they are kids or adults and recognize the environment. A model of the room can be mapped into the system such that the Ai would know where the table for example is located in the kitchen or any other object in the room. This detection system compared with the bracelet tracking is that people do not have to wear any device, can detect new people and can also detect some parts of the environment.

Pressure plate

Pressure plates are methods to determine when an object or a person passed a certain point. This technology was initially not into discussion mainly because it is not efficient and accurate. Its efficiency is reduced because it can operate only in a certain point, not having an area of influence(like cameras do) and the measurements can be easily tricked. Suppose that the detection system will rely on such a pressure plate for detecting kids and adults. In this case, it is really easy for a child to bring object on top of the pressure plate such that it imitates the weight of an adult. That’s why it is not accurate. Even if it is a cheap method to detect when a person is close by a certain point, it is not able to differentiate between two different adults like bracelets or cameras can do. This technology is not expensive and it is easy to implement and remove, but it does not help in the current situation where safety is our main goal.


One option is the Active Badge, a badge that a human wears so that he/she can be tracked by a robot.[L16] The Active Badge operates as a beacon, regularly signalling a unique code to a network of sensors distributed around the area to be monitored. Sightings are gathered by using a master processor which polls the sensors through a network provided for the purpose. The name and location of a badge wearer can be ascertained by looking up the badge ID in a table and looking up the location where the sighting was made. It has been continually improved on to make it more accurate.[L17] Because of these improvements this technology is applicable for the SMART home, because it is able to track multiple people, even through walls and it isn’t expensive to implement. A disadvantage is that the users will have to wear these badges which might be considered inconvenient and a child might not wear it or even destroy it. Also if the badge is attached to a piece of clothing and the child can remove that clothing the system won’t be able to track the child.

Figure L.1: The functionality of a PIR sensor

[L16] R. Want and A. Hopper, "Active badges and personal interactive computing objects," in IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 10-20, Feb 1992. doi: 10.1109/30.125076

[L17] Y. Zhao, N. Patwari, P. Agrawal and M. Rabbat, "Directed by Directionality: Benefiting from the Gain Pattern of Active RFID Badges," in IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 865-877, May 2012. doi: 10.1109/TMC.2011.89

My buddy tag

My buddy tag is a bracelet for kids so parents can keep an eye on them even when they are nog in sight. The buddy tag consists of a GPS tracker to follow the kid wherever they are. The bracelet communicates with a mobile application so the parents can see when there is something wrong. The bracelet has a couple of features. It has an out of range alert, so parents get an alarm when the kid is outside a specific range set by the parents. It gives an alert when the device is soaked in water, so possible drowning is covered. And it consists of a panic button so children can give an alert when they are afraid. My buddy tag is a child safety device especially for outside. The environment of our model is inside the house, so the range of where the child is able to come is a set value. Also drowning is not a possibility in our environment. The panic button is a nice feature. If there is something wrong and the system was not able to detect it, the kid himself can take action and warn the parents. But this is only possible if a child is older, and the age group of our model consists also of children who are not able to do this.

Other child protection methods are simple devices which can be used in houses. For example safety catches and locks for kitchen drawers, safety gates for staircases and socket covers to prevent electrocution. All these safety devices are cheap and easily implemented in the house. Our system can communicate with these devices to keep the environment save. These devices therefor have to be modified a bit with actuators and sensors so it can close ore lock itself when the system indicate it has to.

As described above, bracelets are an easy method to recognize people, but its cost increases by the number of users and it might be difficult to make all the actors wear these devices. Overall, a good technology, but it is hard to scale it to large groups of people.

Comparing the systems

Of all the localization systems discussed above, one should be chosen to implement in the system. The systems have all their pros and cons, the best system should be chosen. To choose the best system, the requirements should be adressed to make sure the system which can fullfill the most requirements is chosen. Below is a table with all the systems discussed, their downsides and advantages.

System Multiple targets Able to Differentiate Easy to implement Accuracy Costs Downsides Advantages
Infrared Good Yes Yes Medium around 80% Low
WPIR Good Not yet Yes Good around 95% Low
Bracelets Good Yes Yes Good around 95% Medium Need to wear a bracelet all the time, hard to implement for guests. Exact location detection, the best solution to detect every person.
Pressure plate Poor No Yes Low around 50% Low Might be easily tricked. Cheap alternative and easy to use.
Ultrasound Good Yes Yes Medium around 80% Low It is an intrusive method and can cause harm in long-term use. It can detect almost exactly the distance to the target.
Cameras Good Yes Yes Good around 95% Low Might have dead angles, might occur privacy issues. Good vision range, easy to recognize people by using Ai.

Simple gates

‘Types’ There are three basic types of Baby Gates: Pressure Fit Baby Gates, Hardware Mounted Baby Gates and Child Safety Gates for Wide or Irregular Areas

Pressure Fit Baby Gates - Once upon a time they were simply barriers than were wedged between two walls or in a doorway and you had to step over them in order to go through or remove them completely. Much has changed. Nowadays the gate itself stays across the opening and is held in place by pressure that is usually created by extending threaded pressure pads to the wall or door jam, these gates have a door that can be opened and closed for convenience. Because this type has a gate within a gate it also has a threshold across the bottom when the gate is opened. Two things all pressure gates have in common is that they require two flat surfaces across from each other to be mounted against and they can't be mounted on an angle. These gates generally are not designed to be mounted on staircases.

Hardware Mounted Baby Gates - These gates are sometimes also called stairway gates because they are the most appropriate type of child safety gate for a staircase. They are versatile and when mounted properly they are easy to open. Most can be removed easily from the mounting hardware if there are occasions when having a baby gate installed is not appropriate. These gates also come in different shapes, sizes and colors. Some have the added ability of being able to be mounted on an angle if necessary. The ability of these gates to mount at different angles vary, the gate that can be mounted at the steepest angle is the angle mount safeway.

Child Safety Gates For Wide Or Irregular Openings - Wide or irregular openings usually take a little more time to plan but may actually end up being very simple to install. These situations requires you to do a little creative thinking.

‘Accidents’ Baby gates are one of the most widely used home safety products to protect children from home hazards. The objective was to describe the epidemiology of baby gate and barrier-associated injuries among children. It was hypothesized that injuries experienced by children ages ≤2 years and those >2 years were significantly different as a result of differences in gate interactions. An estimated 37,673 children were treated in emergency departments for injuries associated with gates, yielding an average of 1794 cases annually. The incidence of gate-related injuries increased significantly from 3.9 per 100,000 children in 1990 to 12.5 per 100,000 children in 2010 (P < .001). Patients were primarily boys (61.0%) and were <2 years of age (60.4%). Patients <2 years of age were most often injured by falls down stairs (odds ratio 6.72; 95% confidence interval 6.32–7.16) after the collapse of the gate. Patients aged 2 to 6 were most often injured by contact with the gate (odds ratio 2.03; 95% confidence interval 1.95–2.12), resulting in open wounds (55.4%) and soft-tissue injuries (24.2%). Given the clear dichotomy between injury characteristics of patients aged <2 years and patients aged 2 to 6 years of age, as well as the prevalence of preventable injuries, greater efforts are needed to promote proper usage, ensure safety in product design, and increase awareness of age-related recommendations for use of gates.


Open VS. Closed System

There are two types of systems that can be used to solve the problem.

1. The first one is that the gate closes after the system detects that the child is close to the stairs. With “close” it’s meant that the child doesn’t have enough time to reach the gate before it already has opened. This time would be determined by taking into account the closing speed of the gate and the average speed of a running child. After this is determined a distance can be taken that would give the system enough time which would create a danger-zone. When the child enters this zone the gate closes. However this type of system has many issues. First of all children of different ages have different average speeds which means that the size of the danger-zone would have to be changed constantly. The danger-zone could become so large that the system no longer is able to do its job properly. If for example the whole hallway is considered dangerous the system can no longer work properly. Secondly the child might enter the danger-zone but that doesn’t mean it wants to go to the stairs. The child simply might walk past the stair so that it can go to a different room or the child might turn around halfway through. This means the system would constantly be closing the gate for no good reason and that should be avoided.

2. The second type is that the gate only opens after the system detects an adult. This type of system is more advantageous then the former one because it deals with most of the presented issues. The average speed of the child is no longer important and the size of the danger zone can be reduced significantly because the urgency factor is taken away. The system will also be nervous, because the systems danger-zone is much smaller and it no longer has to take the erratic behaviour of the child itself.

Because the second system is more advantageous than the first one we have decided to use such a system instead.

Expansion towards other rooms

This system could be used for other dangerous area’s within a house as well. The kitchen could be secured in a similar way. The dangerous cabinets, the stove and the oven can all be locked and will only be unlocked when an adult is close. This way the child will be kept safe from the dangers of the kitchen. The system isn’t inhibiting on the adult when (s)he is using any of these dangerous things which is always more pleasant than a system that does get in the way. If a parent is cooking something on the stove the system is not allowed to cut off the gas/electricity if the parent walks away from the dangerous area. This means that the child could endanger itself. The system then should lock the doors that lead to the kitchen and these doors should only be unlocked when an adult approaches these doors. For the bathroom the situation is similar, because the bathroom door should only unlock itself when an adult approaches this door.

There are two types of gates that are used to keep children away from the stairs: pressure-fit gates and hardware mounted gates. Pressure-fit gates aren’t suitable for up stair use because a child can push them causing the gate to no longer be stuck between the walls. A child could therefore push the gate and fall off the stairs. Besides this the gate can either be opened by unlocking a lock and then swinging it open, like you would do with a door. Or by unlocking a lock and then lifting the gate out of its position. The second type of gate is much more tedious but also cheaper, if all other conditions are the same. The swinging gates are both easier and faster to open than the lifting gates. This is mainly because the lifting gate has to be moved while the swinging gate only requires a light push. It takes about 2 seconds to open a swinging gate and the lifting gate takes about 6 seconds. This means that the new system has to be able to compete with these times and has to be easier/more comfortable to use.


For the design of this part of the system, first the design requirements are set. These elaborate on what conditions the system should satisfy and which specifications should be met.


To target the largest group of potential customers, the system should be able to operate at as much different house settings as possible. The staircase itself can be really different in every house. The design should be applicable for every type of stairs. For example: U-shaped stairs, normal straight stairs or curved stairs.


The hallways can also be different in each house. To make this design be useful for most houses, the most common hallways settings need to be determined. The way the stairs are connected to the hallways, determine important parameters for the safety. Some situations contain a higher risk than others due to the distance between the stairs and the closest room, or due to limited visibility. This design then should be applicable to hallways and stairs combinations that on the top side are shaped as L or U, or stairs that end in a cross- or T-intersection with the hall way.



The system will prevent children from falling down the stairs and will enhance the safety of the child around the staircase. While fulfilling this task, the system should also not be inconvenient for the parents or other people in the house. It should not be an obstacle of some sort but still function properly. In the design there should then be a gate on the top and bottom of the stairs. For convenience the gate should move only in a plane direction. If the stairs are designed in such a way that a gate will not cover the entry of the staircase,then this should be solved with an extension of the gate, but separately installable. The material of the gate should be sturdy and strong. It should not be bendable or break, but also not be hurtful to the child. The height of the gate should be equal to the standard that is set for these safety gates. Since this gates should open and close automatically it should satisfy a “certain minimum and maximum speed’’ so that it is safe and realisable but also quick enough to be closed in time.

Danger zone

The system should have an implemented danger zone or reaction zone in which the gate should open for the parent, but close for the child. This zone has a safety margin so that the gate is always closed when the child is in this zone. To notify the parents when the child is in this zone, something like LEDs should make this visual from all directions. This notification part should be implemented in the gate so that it does not have to be installed separately.

Recognition and detection

The system is there for the protection of the child(ren) in the house, but also to reduce the stress of the parents. Therefore the system should be able to accurately distinguish between adults and children. Besides recognizing the people in the house, it should also be able to detect where they are. It is of importance that the system is able to track the distance between its goal, in this case the stairs, and its object of interest, in this case the person (either an adult or a child).

Operating and working of the system

The system must be able to work with the information it gets from the detection and recognition software. The information that is acquired must be processed and converted into actions. This processing and converting must be done almost immediately. Therefore the system must be able to work together with multiple components at the same time.

Design Proces


At the top of your stairs only use hardware-mounted gates . Pressure-mounted gates are ideal for between rooms or at the bottom of the stairs, but they are not strong or safe enough for the top of the stairs. If you choose an accordion-style gate, make sure it has a top filler bar. If it doesn’t, the child may get his fingers, hands or head caught in the spaces. The gate should only move in one plane and should be installable for every staircasing. The design of the gate then will be a casing with the height of the gate, that can be mounted on the wall or on the stairway railing itself. On the opposite site of the mounted casing there will be a rail where the gate shall fit in, and this will make the construction stronger and so that it cannot be pushed out. This rail and the end of the gate are finished with a soft, child-friendly material for the safety of the child when being near the (moving) gate. The speed of the gate remains unspecified and research is being done about what is possible at this moment, so that this design will be realistic.


Average walking speed of humans is 1.4 m/s but can go up to 2.5 m/s. The average running speed of normal humans differs from 4.4 m/s to 6.7 m/s. Since the subject in this project is a child, these numbers are way too high. For the children group from 1 to 4 years, the approximated average maximum speed is about similar to the normal walking speed of a human, so about 1.5 m/s (which in most cases will not be reached). For the age group 5 to 9 years this speed gradually increases the older they get, but will not rise above the average running speed of normal human. So this maximum value can be approximated at 4 m/s at the age of 9. Due to certain factors such as education during the early years and the small distances the hallways provide, these speeds are most of the time not reached around the staircase. Especially considering the time for accelerating and decelerating the maximum distance they can travel in a time window is a lot lower than their actual maximum. The gate should be quick enough to fully close in time, when the child enters the ‘danger zone’, and the time the gate takes for closing should be less than the time it takes for the child to cross the danger zone. https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-average-running-speed-of-a-human https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preferred_walking_speed

Danger zone

For the danger zone we choose a radius around the staircase/gate of 1.5 m. The LED lighting to make situations visible, warn the parents and get the attention of the parents will be placed in the top of the gate, pointing upwards. This means these lights are always visible, even when the parent is carrying something that blocks his/her view to the floor.

Recognition and detection

The recognition and detection shall be implemented for an infrared camera. The image contains colors of red, orange, yellow, green and blue that represent the actual temperature of the object. In order to detect hear and implicitly the human body in the picture, colors of red, orange and yellow are processed. First, they are going to be transformed to white color, such that the shape of the body can be determined, following that the actual position can be determined. The code is written in C/C++, by using opencv library for image processing. The localization is done as described above, but there are some downsides. If an object emanates heat, then it might be recognized by the system and might interfere with the actual body recognition. The second downside is that if the kids are carried by somebody, the system will recognize only one person.




The working of the system

The system will use a “gate closed” principle. Thus the gate will always be closed, unless the parent is detected in the ‘danger zone’. The system is detecting the position of the subject in the hallway constantly (when movement is detected). So when the parent is moving towards the stairs it will already calculate time and its actions. When both a parent and the child are detected in the danger zone, the LEDs change to an alarming and to a striking preference color. This also means that the gate will not open when the child is in this zone, due to safety precautions. So when the parent is walking towards the gate and comes in a certain proximity of it, and there is no child in the danger zone radius, then the gate will open automatically and the parent can just walk through the gate and down the stairs without any inconvenience, and when the parent is on the stairs, the gate will close behind them.


Cross section Hallway with design.png

First design sketch of a “cross intersection hallway with a camera as recognition and detection hardware” scenario. The width of the hallway is 95 cm and the radius of the danger zone is 1.5m, this can be seen as the red circle in the figure. The gate is mounted on the wall at the left side of the stairs and the rail on the right side. In this hallway set up the camera placement is pretty straightforward, in the middle before the gate, so that it vision span is as big as possible. The doors and such do not really matter for the design, and only give a perspective for this design. The gate will be moving in a 2D-plane so that it is sliding or uses some sort of collapsible mechanism, like for example an accordion mechanism. This means it is the least of an obstacle and can be quickly opened or closed without taking into account a big movement path.

‘Still needs work’ 3D design of the gate itself is being worked on, but not yet finished. Being made in CAD. Is the detection and recognition hardware able to detect how fast something/someone is going?


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