Schneider uses AI on ST MCU for people counter

Technology News |
By Ally Winning

French power giant Schneider Electric has developed a people counter using a thermal sensor and microcontroller with embedded AI from STMicroelectronics.  

The prototype IoT sensor enables new building-management services and efficiency gains by understanding building-occupancy levels and usage which are increasingly important for preventing Covid-19 infections.

Schneider is a major supplier of building management systems and used its LYNRED ThermEye thermal imager with a Yolo-based Neural Network model running on the recently introduced STM32H723 MCU 

The design uses the STM32Cube.AI toolchain for developing AI applications for the STM32 controllers. This includes the X-CUBE-AI software expansion package, which extends the capabilities of the STM32CubeMX initialization tool to automatically convert pre-trained neural networks, generate optimized libraries for the target MCU, and integrate these into the user’s project. Additional support to automate laborious development tasks includes several ways of validating neural network models and measuring performance on STM32 MCUs without creating the necessary C code by hand.

“This promising technology opens a new solution for attendance monitoring and people counting in numerous applications such as monitoring queues, building usage, and social distancing,” said Maxime Loidreau, IoT Sensors Program Manager at Schneider Electric. “Our innovative demonstration, created with STMicroelectronics, finds applications in various segments, from hotels to offices and retail, and more generally any building where knowing attendance and space occupation has a value.”

“This project demonstrates the power of deep learning to enhance embedded data-processing performance, showing how high-value applications can be hosted on a cost-effective microcontroller-based platform,” said Miguel Castro, AI Solutions Business Line Manager at STMicroelectronics. “Our STM32Cube.AI ecosystem empowers users to create flexible solutions within a fast time-to-market window. Customers can enjoy even greater productivity leveraging the support of our technical team to overcome engineering challenges.”

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