industry news
Subscribe Now

RS Components and BARTH Elektronik unveil People Counter maker project to help social distancing efforts during
 COVID-19 pandemic

People-counting project uses non-contact sensors to help staff monitor areas and maintain a safe density of people in shops and other commercial areas

LONDON, UK, 14 May 2020 – RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE: ECM), a global multi-channel provider of industrial and electronic products and solutions, has joined forces with miniature PLC manufacturer BARTH® Elektronik GmbH to develop a simple maker project that aids social distancing in the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The project, called ‘People Counter’, can be assembled in less than an hour and records the number of people entering and exiting a room, indicating when it is safe to allow more people to enter while still maintaining the recommended distance from others. This is particularly effective in retail environments where safe social distancing can be difficult to control.

Two photoelectric proximity sensors, (https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/7295117/) or light barriers, detect the direction of movement, while a miniature PLC calculates the number of people in and out of the store in real time. A password-protected CAN touch screen (https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/touch-screen-hmi-displays/1745641/) is used to pre-set the maximum people limit and also serves as a ‘traffic light’ system, illuminating green when access is granted and red when access is denied. There is also an audio alert. The miniature PLC processes the data and controls the display.

The project design is very simple. All of the parts required are available to purchase from RS, and the full Bill of Materials, 3D data, software and manuals can be downloaded from the RS DesignSpark engineering website. A short video also gives instructions on how to build the system.

Daniel Barth, CEO of BARTH Elektronik, who devised this project, commented: “The idea came from the challenge that many businesses currently face when restricting the number of people in shops. Maintaining a reasonable maximum can reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading further through human contact. It was important to find a precise, contactless solution that could protect public health, while avoiding the costs associated with employing extra staff to monitor numbers manually.”

Mike Bray, VP of Innovation at RS, added: “This is a simple project that could have a huge, positive impact on the way retailers help protect customers from COVID-19 while they are out shopping. We would encourage any makers keen to help combat the virus to look at this project and consider how it could support businesses in their area, and then perhaps help those retailers to implement it. Makers really can make a difference.”

For full details of how to get started with the People Counter project visit: https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/people-counter-project-for-covid-19

About RS Components
RS Components is a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc. We offer more than 500,000 industrial and electronic products, sourced from over 2,500 leading suppliers, and provide a wide range of value-added services to over one million customers. With operations in 32 countries, we ship more than 50,000 parcels a day.

We support customers across the product life cycle, whether via innovation and technical support at the design phase, improving time to market and productivity at the build phase, or reducing purchasing costs and optimising inventory in the maintenance phase. We offer our customers tailored product and service propositions that are essential for the successful operation of their businesses and help them save time and money.

Electrocomponents is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2019 reported revenue of £1.88 billion. Electrocomponents has seven operating brands: RS Components, Allied Electronics & Automation, RS PRO, OKdo, DesignSpark, IESA and Monition.

For more information on RS, please visit the website at https://uk.rs-online.com/web/.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
May 22, 2020
As small as a postage stamp, the Seeeduino XIAO boasts a 32-bit Arm Cortex-M0+ processor running at 48 MHz with 256 KB of flash memory and 32 KB of SRAM....
May 22, 2020
Movies have the BAFTAs and Academy Awards. Music has the GRAMMYs. Broadway has the Tonys. Global footballers have the Ballon d’Or. SI/PI engineers have the DesignCon 2020 Best Paper Award? Really? What’s that? Many people are familiar with annual awards mentioned....
May 22, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at the complexities of cache in a multicore processor.] OK, time for a breather and for some review. We'€™ve taken quite the tour of computing, both in an IoT device (or even a laptop) and in the cloud. Here are some basic things we looked ...
May 21, 2020
In this time of financial uncertainty, a yield-shield portfolio can protect your investments from market volatility.  Uncertainty can be defined as a quantitative measurement of variability in the data [1]. The more the variability in the data – whet...

Featured Video

Featured Paper

Adaptive Beamformer: An HLS Optimization Case Study with SLX FPGA

Sponsored by Silexica

Learn more about how SLX FPGA provides a productivity and efficiency boost when using high-level synthesis (HLS) to implement FPGA applications in C/ C++, through automated analysis and optimization. In this beamforming example, SLX FPGA is able to achieve lower latency and cut development time from weeks down to minutes compared to hand-optimization for similar cost of resources.

Click here to download the whitepaper