Body Sensing

An adaptive wearable device for monitoring sleep and preventing fatigue

Walter Karlen , Prof. Dario Floreano, Dr. Jean-Christophe Zufferey, Dr. Claudio Mattiussi


Fatigue is a major source of stress and accidents in today's world, but there are no objective ways of monitoring and preventing the build-up of fatigue.

Sleep and wake periods are major factors, but not the only ones, that contribute to regulate the onset of fatigue. In this project, we start by developing a non-intrusive, wearable device for monitoring sleep and wake phases.

Since body signals related to sleep and wake are different from person to person, our device incorporates learning technologies adapted from our work on autonomous robotics. This allows the device to self-tune to the user.

The output of the sleep/wake device will then be incorporated into a model of fatigue that takes into account also other body signals and can adapt to the style and physiology of the user.

A version of the sleep/wake device will be tested within the framework of Solar Impulse, where the pilot has to be alert during the entire flight, which can take up to five days and nights. Our device can be used to predict the pilots fatigue and to calculate his optimal break times, always taking into account the mission status.

The Solar Impulse plane flying above the EPFL campus (fotomontage)

Related Links


Collaborators and Involved People

  • Prof. Dario Floreano, head of the lab and main advisor.
  • André Borschberg, Solar-Impulse.



[8 November 2007] The special issue on Solar Impulse in Hebdo includes an article about the communication between the pilot and the plane.

[8 March 2007] The french magazine "Micro Hebdo" features an article describing the interest of our project.

[9 February 2006] The broadcast "Menschen Technik Wissenschaft MTW" (SF1) features our contribution to the Solar Impulse project.

[17 November 2005] live interview about Solar Impulse and our Lab with Mikoto from Couleur3

[9 November 2005] Territoire 21 -a TSR scientific TV programme- presents our current research within the Solar Impulse project.

[15 May 2005] CNN International 'Global Challenges' [42 MB]

For older articles check out the LIS Media Coverage page




Published: 05.05.05/wk      Last update: 2010/wk