Gait Monitoring Diagnostic System
Mechanical Engineering Senior Design
Group Members: Scott Mooney, Hannah Davies, Jonathan Wahl
Advisors: C. Chassapis, S. Esche
Summary of the Project:
The project objective is to design a wireless monitoring system that can measure the characteristics of the human gait through a series of sensors and transmission components.
In our approach to the design problem we performed literature and market research, followed by researching the technologies that are available to us. Additionally, a search for products similar to ours currently in research and development phases was performed. While we did find research tools, no product appeared in our search that is for sale in the marketplace for any application. Additionally, market research was done in order to assess the needs of our potential customers.
From the research performed, the needs of the customers and the requirements of the design team, a number of concepts were derived. The final design consists of two shoes, each outfitted with 7 point load sensors, one 3-axis accelerometer, a wireless transmission device and a battery, used in conjunction with a data transmission receiver that is connected to a computer. The data is to be transmitted wirelessly direct to the receiver, and the collected data can then be processed and viewed using the computer.
We developed a prototype design that would include all of these and developed a plan of action to build, test, and validate our prototype. This prototype includes a transmission component with 100-foot range, 250-pound capacity load cell, along with an integrated accelerometer with independent transmission capabilities again with a range of 100 feet. The first step towards validation was a proof-of-concept prototype. We built our proof-of-concept prototype to confirm that such a system is viable and can give useful data. The proof-of –concept design included three 250-pound load cells wired directly to a data acquisition card and LabVIEW data analysis software.
We were extremely pleased by the level of repeatability seen in our data and felt that this validated much of our test methodology. In addition the subject indicated that he was unable to notice a difference between the shoe with the real load cells and the shoe with the faux load cells. While the subject did not loose consciousness of the fact that he was being tested he did not feel that the design impeded his natural gait. Also very positive to our results was that the subject did not find the shoes as uncomfortable as one might expect. The feeling was equated to trying to walk in a new pair of dress shoes that had not yet been broken in.
From our proof-of-concept prototype we were able to make several conclusions and recommendations for future groups who might wish to take on the project. The creation and testing of our proposed prototype would be a major step in the development of a finished product. All involved in the project feel that the scope of work that was done was successful and look forward to the continuation of development of a Gait Monitoring Diagnostic System in the future and by interdisciplinary Stevens Institute of Technology Seniors.
For further information view our Final Presentation