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2007 Grant - Tyrer
A Smart Carpet: Technology for Persons With Alzheimer's Disease
Harry W. Tyrer, Ph.D.
University of Missouri
2007 Everyday Technologies for Alzheimer Care Research Grant
Individuals in the various stages of Alzheimer's disease often need to be monitored in their living environments to ensure their safety from falls, wandering and other dangerous behaviors. Current technological monitoring techniques can be problematic and are often viewed as very intrusive by the individuals being monitored.
In an effort to provide a vehicle for less intrusive technological monitoring, Harry W. Tyrer, Ph.D., proposes the development of a smart carpet. The carpet will contain pressure sensors distributed throughout the floor that will detect movement and falls, determine location in the room, and detect if the resident has wandered away from the room to such high risk areas as the kitchen or an exit.
Dr. Tyrer and his colleagues will initially produce test sheets with one sensor in order to test prototypical logic and microprocessor systems. They will then develop sheets of four and nine sensors with the final fabrication containing an average of 10 sensors per square foot. In the last stage of the project, they will test the design in living environments with people with Alzheimer's.
Ultimately, they hope to produce a low cost option for unobtrusive technological monitoring that will help ensure the safety and well being of people with dementia at risk for dangerous behavior.