52 States in 8 Months

Treadmill treatment done.

Posted in University stuff by Ulf on February 6, 2009

bild5157In mid January I told you about an experiment which I took part in. On the first run however, there were some problems with the pressure sensors under my feet. Without their signals we could not go on, so we had to restart the experiment later on.

So this is what we did. Mehmet adjusted the brace for my leg again while Josh distributed many little IR reflectors on my body. This time, everything went fine. They both could collect lots of data about my gait pattern.

Whileulf_walking_sml Mehmet was mainly focused on the measurements coming directly from the brace (angles, velocities, forces), Josh supervised the camera system which was tracking all my motions. You can see my body in some computer model on the second picture.

You might ask yourself why control engineers such as Mehmet are interested in the human gait pattern. In fact, the brace was able to disturb my gait. It could for example lock my leg at a certain angle, or restrict my range of movement.

Mehmet is interested in how my reaction towards these disturbances is. He tries to model my brain such that, at some point, he can predict how a human would react to a disturbance during a walk. This might for example help in the development of bipedal robots (which our lab is interested in).

Wikipedia mentions 27 different ways of human gait. And they say that the Royal Army marches at 108 beats/min while the US boys do 120 beats/min. Only some Spanish guys are faster, they do 144 beats/min. It’s probably the local army from Pamplona ;-).


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