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SILENSE – (Ultra) Sound Interfaces and Low Energy iNtegrated SEnsors


Project staff
DI Dr. Eugen Pfann

Project start

Project description
In this project the capabilities of state of the art and future ultrasound transducers and associated DSP algorithms for fine human gesture and motion detection and tracking will be demonstrated.
Use-cases will be defined in the following areas:
• Wearables
• Smart Home & Buildings
• Automotive
The Institute of Signal Processing (ISP) will contribute to the wearable area in terms of specification of requirements and algorithmic development. The ISP collaborates in the definition of three use cases in this area where at least for one use-case will be developed into a demonstrator. These use cases share one ultrasound based gesture recognition system which is at the heart of the application and allows for the following use case scenarios:

  1. The proposed sign-language recognition system should help mute or speech impaired persons to naturally communicate in non-written form to people who do not understand sign language. The system will be designed for wearability so that the speech impaired person has access whenever and wherever required.
    Based on fine ultrasound gesture recognition this system recognizes sign-language gestures and translates them to words in either written form or -for more natural communication- allows an extension via the use of a speech synthesizer into spoken words. Another extension could include a sign-language tutoring system which tracts gestures and gives tactile feedback if sign language gestures are not executed properly.

  2. Patients in physio-therapeutic treatment or rehabilitation frequently have to perform exercises unsupervised after few initial training sessions with their professional physio-therapist. Without direct feedback there is no guarantee that exercises are executed properly to the maximum effect which could unnecessarily increase the recovery period and rehabilitation costs. Coupled with e.g. tactile feedback or a visual training system the ultrasound based physio therapeutic aid could be used in unsupervised sessions to replicate the exercises exactly as learned in the training session with the physio-therapist. In these training sessions the system could also be tuned to the movements of the specific patient.

  3. In industrial monitoring and control applications when for practicability, safety or hygiene reasons a gesture based command-input system is preferable the use of a wearable ultrasound system could facilitate deployment. The use of a wearable central node also allows for tactile feedback (e.g. vibration) to relay information of the controlled system back to the operator.

SILENSE is an EU-wide project with a total of 33 partners involved.