Effective Ways To Detect People Using Common Sensors

Hi everyone, I’ve just added a new guide on detecting people using some common sensors: “Effective Ways To Detect People Using Common Sensors”

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Great post. All the common sensors have been covered. Thanks.

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Stoked to see the computer vision powered Person Sensor got an honourable mention. I wish I had an actual project needing it because it’s just so cool!

This definitely opened my eyes to some new possibilities - microwave wasn’t even a consideration until now!

I’m looking at people & vehicle sensing at my front gate, which means I’ll be looking at battery (and maybe solar) powered. Is there any substantial difference in power draw between the different options that I should take into account?

Hi Matt,

Most of the sensors in that guide have pretty low power draw overall:

  • The PIR uses almost no power (less than an LED)
  • The two PiicoDev sensors power draw is low enough that it is negligible relative to the microcontrollers power consumption.
  • The camera vision based Person Sensor is around 150mW
  • Radar units will be higher, around a couple of Watts

The two biggest factors on energy use will be what kind of device is reading the sensors. A fully optomised ESP32 or a Pico W will use a Watt or less, but if you were to use a Raspberry Pi single board computer then you’ll need a dozen Watts just for the Pi. The other factor is how often your sensors and controller are running. If they take a measurements periodically and sleep in between measurements you’ll save power everytime you are not taking readings. Given you are only trying to detect the presence of people or cars you certainly don’t need multiple measurements per second, you could probably measure a couple of times per minute with a decent strike rate.

Excellent Post. Thanks :slight_smile:

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