New Delhi: Innovators at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bhopal have developed a unique ‘Crowd and Mask’ Monitoring System to prevent COVID-19 from spread. This one-of-its-kind low-cost Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled device is portable and easy to deploy across various locations, says a statement released by the institution.
Wearing masks is among the primary precautions adopted to prevent COVID-19 from spread along with social distancing. With the Institute commencing the process of bringing students back to campus in phases, this AI-powered system will help to maintain a minimum of three feet of social distancing.
In an initiative to tackle the spread of COVID-19, Dr. P.B. Sujit, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, along with Dr. Mitradip Bhattacharjee and Dr. Santanu Talukdar, Assistant Professors, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Dr. Venkateshwar Rao, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, IISER Bhopal, and BSMS student Mr. Kasi Viswanath developed this AI-enabled device that can replicate manual policing to ensure the COVID-19 prevention norms are followed.
Elaborating on the innovation, Dr. P.B. Sujit, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, IISER Bhopal, said, “We wanted a simple advisory system to warn students of breaching social distancing norms at selected locations”.
To achieve the desired outcome, the innovators used the principles of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI-ML) in a high definition camera attached to a microchip computer and a 5V battery in a 3D printed case to monitor the movement of people on the campus. If the camera detects any breach of norms related to social distancing and mask wearing, the device starts alerting the crowd with a pre-recorded message.
The innovators deployed the device at the campus in October 2020 and continuously improved it till it became stable with minimum false alarms. As a result, people have become sensitive to the social distancing violation and are following the safety protocol with more caution. The innovators are planning to open source the complete system along with a how-to-use tutorial for the betterment of society in such disruptive times.
“Given the opportunity, this device can be deployed at various crowded public places to ensure that the basic safety rules are not violated in this tough time of Covid-19 pandemic”, said the IISER Bhopal team.