A Low-Power Electric-Mechanical Driving Approach for True Occupancy Detection Using a Shuttered Passive Infrared Sensor Academic Article uri icon


  • 2001-2012 IEEE. Passive infrared (PIR) sensors are the most popular deployed sensors in buildings for individual presence detection. However, PIR sensors are motion detectors in nature, responding only to incident radiation variation, which leads to false negative detections, inaccurate occupancy estimation, and uncomfortable lighting swings and waste of energy. To address this issue, an optical shutter driven by a Lavet motor PIR (LAMPIR) sensor is developed for true presence detection. In comparison with our previously developed chopped PIR (C-PIR) and rotationally chopped PIR (Ro-PIR) sensors, a low-power single-phase electro-mechanical driving approach is introduced for LAMPIR to replace traditional servo and stepper motors and thus significantly reduce the power consumption by up to 89%, size by up to 60%, weight by up to 75%, cost by up to 31%, and acoustic noise by 12 dBA. More specifically, driven by pulsed signal from a microcontroller unit, the electro-mechanical vibrator drives a semi-Transparent long-wave infrared optical shutter to chop the field of view (FOV) of a PIR sensor periodically. By monitoring and analyzing the voltage outputs generated by the LAMPIR senor, high-Accuracy presence detection can be achieved by optimizing the shutter width and shuttering period through parametric studies. Experimental results show that a classification accuracy of 100% can be reached for detecting stationary occupants up to 4.5 m and moving occupants up to 10 m, suggesting a detection range improvement from both the C-PIR and the Ro-PIR sensors (4.0 m for stationary and 8.0 m for moving occupancy detection for both sensors). Additionally, the LAMPIR sensor has an FOV of 90 in horizontal and 100 in vertical, which is sufficient for most applications. For a 31-h-long presence detection test, an accuracy of 97% is achieved when classifying unoccupied and occupied scenarios, while an accuracy of 93% is achieved when classifying unoccupied, stationary and moving occupant scenarios.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Wu, L., & Wang, Y. a.

citation count

  • 37

complete list of authors

  • Wu, Libo||Wang, Ya

publication date

  • October 2019