Hunt Library Study Carrels

At CMU, there’s no better place for putting your nose to the grindstone than the 3rd floor of Hunt Library, a designated quiet floor with rows and rows of study carrels. Given the popularity of the location, students end up taking several laps around the floor to find an open space, disturbing/distracting other students, only to give up and reluctantly head somewhere else.

Our project aims to solve this problem by building a system that detects occupancy of a study carrel and delivers that information through an app, enabling students to check availability from their mobile devices. Our sensor system will be mounted and connected above the rows of carrels, with each carrel assigned its own individual device. Each device will consist of a combination of infrared sensors to map motion and heat, as well as proximity sensors to detect belongings on a tabletop. In addition, each will also have an LED that is green (available) or red (occupied), so that students can visually scan for open seats. Finally, the system will be able to detect if a student has left their belongings unattended for an extended period of time, subsequently notifying the library staff to clear the desk and make it available to other students. We hope our project will considerably improve the usability of Hunt’s third floor.

Check out the rest of our site to learn more about our project!

This is a Carnegie Mellon University: ECE Capstone Project designed by Charlotte Deiss and Alisha Mayor, two ECE students passionate about finding creative ways to improve student life on campus.