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Face Recognition System Makes it to Final Rounds of IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Student Design Competition

Khalifa University Undergraduate Students Win 1st Place in Europe Middle East and Africa Region

A group of six undergraduate students from Khalifa University reached the final round of the 3rd annual IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CASS) Student Design Competition, which took place from 26-29 May in Sapporo, Japan.

Electrical Engineering students Alanoud Almemari, Mohammed Alyayaee, Rodah Almazrooei, Safa Alkatheeri, and Mohammed Alnuaimi, and Computer Engineering student Noura Alnuaimi, became one of five finalist teams out of 23 global entrants after winning first place at the regional round of the competition in Europe, Middle East and Africa for their project, ‘A Face Recognition System to Control House Appliances.’

The project describes a system that uses facial recognition to access and control house appliances such as lightbulbs, doors and air conditioning. People around the world are concerned about their home security along with their energy consumption, and the Khalifa University project tackles both at once with one innovative solution. The face recognition system designed by the team eases home entry and automates the turning on and off of electrical appliances. Forget your keys? Your face opens the door. Forget to turn off the lights? Your face does it for you as you leave.

The system is divided into two sub-systems: the first is the face recognition code that works on MATLAB machine learning tools and a laptop camera; and the second controls the appliances in the home. These are a serial monitor (Arduino), door locks, fans and lightbulbs.

The prototype operates across three different rooms, all accessed by the same door: the front door. A camera attached to the door registers the face of the user and assigns a room to that face using signature extraction and local binary pattern. After registering, the user is then recognized by the system when they approach the house, with the front door opening and the Arduino operating the lights and AC in the room designated to that user. They’ll even get a message welcoming them home.

Should the person not be recognized by the system, a message will be sent to the admin with the picture of the person trying to enter. There is also password access, so if the face isn’t recognized, anyone with the password can unlock the house. If the incorrect password is entered three times, the admin user will be alerted, enabling them to remotely open the door if the visitor was expected, or to call the police if necessary.

There are also extra options provided for different situations, like visitors, deliveries, using passwords and even writing a message for the main user.

On the way out, the system can recognize the person leaving the house and switch off the appliances in designated rooms. People have a tendency to leave appliances on if they’re leaving in a rush or are distracted, which leads to an expensive electricity bill or even fires in worst case scenarios. This system automates the procedure for the user, signaling an end to excessive energy consumption and fire risks when the house is empty.

The project faced stiff competition in Sapporo against projects including an early pneumonia detecting system, a real-time mapping and monitoring network for water quality analysis in cisterns and tanks, and a neural network-based wireless vision detection system. The 2018-2019 CASS Student Design Competition World Winner came from the US and Canada regional entry for their wireless recorder for intracranial epileptic seizure monitoring.

The IEEE CASS Student Design Competition is a worldwide competition where undergraduate students suggest and execute projects related to electrical engineering and similar areas to offer a solution to a real-life problem. The competition comprises three phases: the first at the chapter level, the second at the regional level, and a final at world level. This year’s final took place during the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS) 2019 in Sapporo, Japan.

Jade Sterling
News and Features Writer
16 June 2019