As a project in the 3rd grade Faculty Electrical Engineering, three students from the KAHO Sint Lieven in Ghent/Belgium have opted to jointly develop a suitcase, with which they can demonstrate the advantages of KNX and smart home technology for Ambient Assisted Living. The KAHO Sint Lieven is a long standing member of the KNX Scientific Partnership.
Ambient Assisted Living is the term used to designate the effort to try and keep elderly people as long as possible in their own home, by the use of smart technology in combination with a link to a service center, which is automatically contacted in case of emergency situations. The students decided to design within the limits of a portable suitcase a service flat to scale. A service flat is quite common in Belgium and designates living areas for elderly people, in which they can live independently but still rely on nearby medical or other assistance. The suitcase is designed in such a way that the lid shows the ground plan of the service flat, where the inside is fitted with the KNX devices under a plexiglas cover. The service flat to scale consists of a number of areas, in which the following functions will be realized:
- all rooms will be surveilled with a movement detector not only to activate or deactivate lighting but also to be able to notice long durations of inactivity, with a direct link to a call center.
- The entire flat is properly ventilated 24 hours a day at minimum ventilation speed. In case of activities like cooking the speed is automatically increased.
- For heating, the flat is divided up into two zones controlled by means of thermostats that are simple to operate.
- An all off function is realized by means of a card reader at the entrance.
- In the kitchen, a function ensures that when turning on a cooking plate, the hood is automatically turned on as well as an automatic deactivation of any cooking plate after a set time after it was turned on. The kitchen will also foresee switchable socket outlets for kettle and/or coffee percolator.
- The bathroom as well as the bedroom are equipped with a pull cord light switch as well as a panic button for emergency situations. In that case, the external lighting will start flashing. The bedroom is moreover equipped with automatically operated blinds.
- In the hallway, the lighting is set to orientation light during the night to easily find the way to the bathroom.