Despite snoring itself being a relatively harmless condition, those who do snore while asleep can also be suffering from sleep apnea — a potentially serious disorder which causes the airway to repeatedly close and block oxygen from getting to the lungs. As an effort to alert those who might be unaware they have sleep apnea, Naveen Kumar devised a small device using an Arduino Pro Nicla Voice to detect when a person is snoring and gently alert them via haptic feedback in their pillow.
Although many boards have microphones and can run sound recognition machine learning models, the Nicla Voice contains a Syntiant NDP120 Neural Decision Processor that is specifically designed to accelerate deep learning workloads while also decreasing the amount of power needed to do so. Apart from the board, Kumar added an Adafruit DRV2605L haptic motor driver and haptic motor as a way to wake up the user without disturbing others nearby.
The model was created by first downloading a snoring dataset that contains hundreds of short samples of either snoring or non-snoring. After adding them to the Edge Impulse Studio, Kumar constructed an impulse from the Syntiant Audio blocks and trained a model that achieved a 94.6% accuracy against the test dataset. The code integrating the model continuously collects new audio samples from the microphone, passes them to the NDP120 for classification, and triggers the haptic motor if snoring is sensed.
To read more about this project, you can check out Kumar’s write-up here.
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