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Published November 13, 2020 | Version 1.0
Dataset Open

EPSRC HEED Data Repository: Footfall Monitoring System

  • 1. Coventry University
  • 2. University of Connecticut


The dataset deposited here was prepared under the EPSRC-funded Humanitarian Engineering and Energy for Displacement research project (EP/P029531/1). The project aimed to understand energy needs of displaced communities, create an evidence base on the usage of different energy interventions and provide recommendations for improved design of future energy interventions to better meet the needs of people. 

As part of the project, we deployed a Footfall Monitoring System in the Uttargaya settlement in Nepal. Footfall monitors are designed to measure the step count of passers-by with the aim to: Evaluate the level of activity in an area by measuring footfall count and Evaluate the effect of streetlights on the level of activity.

For the purpose of this study, the 7 footfall monitors are deployed beside 7 streetlights. The footfall monitors were deployed prior to commissioning of streetlights to gather baseline data and evaluate the impact of streetlights on the footfall count. The key constituents of footfall monitors are: Raspberry Pi 3B and Case; PiFace Real Time Clock and CAM008 70º night vision camera. The total cost of a monitor is £92.88. The Raspberry Pi is the central unit of the system that runs a program to sense the footfall count as measured by the IR sensor. The IR sensor counts footfall by tracking the number of times a horizontal beam of light is “broken” when a person crosses a threshold. If new data is recorded by the sensor, the updated footfall count along with the direction of movement and the current time (measured from PiFace RTC) is stored onto an SD card. A packet containing the updated values is also transmitted to the heed-data server hosted at Coventry University.

Post Deployment Challenges:

  • Damage to footfall: In April 2019, footfall monitor 7 was damaged due to a gust of storm and heavy rains in the camp. This monitor was replaced in May 2019.
  • Power outages: These are common in the camp. Data is lost during this time as the devices have no access to power.
  • Internet connectivity: The availability and reliability of Wi-Fi continue to be an issue for the transmission of data to heed-data server.


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Additional details


Humanitarian, Engineering and Energy for Displacement (HEED) EP/P029531/1
UK Research and Innovation