Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, faculty members, researchers, and students at Humber College have been working to find solutions to challenges that arise from the pandemic’s impact on our communities. One such project catalyzed in response to the pandemic is the Indoor Navigation System-Wayfinding led by Professor Daryoush Mortazavi in the Faculty of Applied Sciences & Technology (FAST) at Humber. The research project has been inspired by the purpose of minimizing people’s interactions when navigating large places such as malls, hospitals, and department stores. The research team has found that many people spend a lot of time interacting with others to find help locating places or items when they are in large, crowded spaces. By developing a mobile application that can help users with indoor wayfinding, the research team hopes to reduce the amount of interaction people have in crowded places, thereby reducing the likelihood of transmission of the highly contagious COVID-19.
The Indoor Navigation System-Wayfinding project was awarded the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Engage grant ($25K) in 2021.
Humber College research team is partnering with Circuit Plus, a Canadian engineering firm incorporated in 1999. Circuit Plus has more than 20 years of experience in designing, developing, manufacturing, and testing electronic devices in industrial, commercial, and healthcare fields.
Lidia M. and Junji C. (2020) have shown that shoppers or office visitors searching for an item or an office in large buildings causes frustration and contributes to people traffic congestion, the potential increase in disease spread. The impact resulting from inefficient indoor navigation has also been shown to lead to additional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Khozema, A. A., Mardiana, I. A., & Yusri, Y., 2020). Indoor navigation is also much more challenging than outdoor navigation due to the lack of or weaknesses of the Global Positioning System (GPS) indoors, as shown by Jayakanth K., AbdelGhani K., Somaya A.M., & Abdulla A.A. (2020).
Daryoush Mortazavi, PhD, P.Eng., Principal Investigator, has experience in all aspects of the Research and Development process and project management in Industry 4.0 projects.
Daryoush completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering at Deakin University in Australia, where he conducted research in nanotechnology and image processing. Daryoush has over 15 years of practical industry experience at various industries in Iran, Australia, and Canada. As a professor at Humber College, he applies his vast expertise in both classrooms and applied research projects.
Humber students participating in this project are Pooja Rana from the Wireless Telecommunications program and Sangeetha Athiyur Sridharan from the Information Technology Solutions program. The students will build on in-class learning by working on sensors, communication systems, and cloud computing. They will learn data communication systems, mobile app development, digital maps, IoT devices, and the cloud. Moreover, the students will acquire soft skills valued by employers, including troubleshooting, creative thinking, and communication and networking skills.
Potential for impact
Results of the research will have a positive impact even beyond the pandemic as indoor navigation poses challenges anywhere there is a large indoor space. By leveraging IoT technology, cloud computing, and mobile app development, the research team finds the mobile application to have utilization in various areas such as space optimization and asset tracking.
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We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Nous remercions le Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG) de son soutien.
Jayakanth K., AbdelGhani K., Somaya A.M., & Abdulla A.A. (2020). Indoor positioning and wayfinding systems: a survey. Human-centric Computing and Information Sciences, volume 10, Article number: 18 (2020).
Khozema A. A., Mardiana I. A., & Yusri Y. (2020). Issues, Impacts, and Mitigations of Carbon
Dioxide Emissions in the Building Sector. Sustainability, 2020, 12, 7427.
Lidia, M., & Junji, C. (2020, June). Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2: The world should face the reality. Environment International, Volume 139, 105730.