PiPhin
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:48 am

People-counting with Pi(Zero)?

Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:28 am

I wonder if anyone used a Pi as a database-server and maybe even as input-interface to count people.
Our theatre-company still uses mechanical hand-click-counters for checking visitor-numbers in the facility and it would be nice to actually do this while saving the numbers in a database, with time and date.

I found digital counters ( https://amzn.to/2V5f6Jd ) and need to check if those are a starting-point regarding hackability or not. The ultra-cheap stuff mostly just has a undocumentated blob instead of a proper IC which makes it hard to reverse-engineer it.

Comes any project to mind that I could use as a starting-point, inspiration or even forking? I probably don't have the right buzzword for the task.... if I search for "counting people" with the Pi I end up with PiCam projects :)

PhatFil
Posts: 1305
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:55 pm
Location: Oxford UK

Re: People-counting with Pi(Zero)?

Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:32 am

A very do-able Sunday afternoon project imho.
H/w and s/w i use/host on my pi-0-w for home automation could easily be adapted.
the only thing i cant replicate is the Audible/physical 'CLICK' a manual counter provides.

I suggest you consider these or similar as 'Clickers'
Image
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/DIGOO-D ... 020cfbbfa5


then you can use this device
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-Son ... bc362af0f1

when reprogrammed with this firmware
https://github.com/arendst/Sonoff-Tasmota/wiki

using a usb/ftdi like
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1PCS-CH ... ccc15b023d

to convert every 433mhz signal that it can 'hear' like a button press.. as a Mqtt topic/Payload published over your wifi network.
Something your Pi can 1) detect and 2) count :)

So Host a Mqtt Broker on your Pi, and some s/w to subscribe to the relevant topic to count and save clicks.

I would suggest Node red as your subscribing/counting/saving s/w but you could also use anything else even write your own script to handle the job.

Once the bridge is up and connected it shouldn't take too long to work out how to count the signals received and save them.
(if needed i can provide a node red flow which should give you a LOT of clues..)

Alternatively you could use Bluetooth luggage finders with buttons without any additional h/w requirements, but the 'clickers' are more expensive and probably have a much shorter range, and would require a little more development in scanning for and reading.

One area that may require further development may be in providing feedback a signal has been sent and received?? using the h/w recommended above i do find that occasionally i need to click a button twice...

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