Let's Make Robots!

Sensor-Based Human Activity Recognition

I have a very ambitious idea for a robot project. After doing some reseach, I found a word that perfectly defines what I've been trying to describe for a while: Human Behavior Recognition, or more specifically, Sensor-Based Human Activity Recognition (SBHAR, for sake of brevity.)

In my mind, on it's simplest form, SBHAR would read a sensor affix to a human's body/clothing or in the subject's environment, and report any readings that would indicate a certain activity or behavior being exhibited, that may require assistance to insure the subject's comfort, safety, and/or convenience. 

For example, a temperature sensor interfused to a person's clothing that comes in contact with the armpit, would report readings to an MCU attached elsewhere to the clothing. That data would then be wirelessly transmitted to a robot. If the sensor was reporting an abnormal temperature, a robot would respond accordingly.

For a high temperature, the robot would indicate to the subject that he/she may be experiencing symptoms of a fever and continue by inquiring on other symptoms he/she may be suffering from. After completing a diagnostic checklist, the robot would suggest a remedy for the particular ailment, and offer to retrieve the remedy (medication, ice, or otherwise) for the subject.

 I found several articles on the subject, and am very interested in researching this area. Any comments, suggestions, ect. will be greatly appreciated. Maybe ideas for other types of sensors to read human activity/behavior? I know a lot of systems use machine vision processing to determine human status...



Update: 13:02 09.19.09 



 I've continued to do research on measurable physical symptoms of ailments, such as my example of increased body temperature when experiencing a fever. After more and more research I was unable to locate any indisposition that needs simple treatment and can be measured by electronic sensors.  For example, acute stress can be hypothetically treated by soothing/relaxing music, comfort foods, ect. However, the symptoms of acute stress include increased heart rate, tightened muscles, increased blood pressure, quickened breath, and sharper senses. (http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm)

Heart rate can be measured, as with blood pressure, and breathing rate, but those stress symptoms that are measurable can also be experienced after exercising. 

Speech patterns and body language are good ways to measure a persons behavior or activity, but to implement a system that uses machine vision to analyze body language and speech pattern analysis to measure speech patterns seems way beyond the ability of a simple DIY robot guy. 

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Sounds cool, you could eventually link this with a house control system, adjusting temperature or other things automatically depending on body responses.

I wonder if you have seen this http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/15/creepy-laughter-tracking-ps3-patent-has-us-rethinking-sonys-wh/

a different concept but similar in that it records human behavior/activity.