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Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2009 Oct;223(7):903-11.

Quantifying sway through surface deflection patterns: a novel approach using distributive tactile sensing.

Author information

1
Clinical Bimedical Engineering Research Group, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

Abstract

This paper describes an experiment that extends the distributive sensing approach to identify the three-dimensional location of an object in constant motion. Distributive sensing has previously been successful in the identification of size and location of statically placed objects. Here, a novel system is developed to measure balance or sway in patients. The experimental set-up consisted of a pendulum structure positioned on a supported steel plate. Three low-cost deflection sensors were positioned under the plate with the resulting signals used as inputs to a neural network implemented on a field-programmable gate array. The results show that the embedded system can accurately track the pendulum position in real time with a mean tracking error of around 6 per cent in all three dimensions. This evidence indicates that the technique is sufficiently sensitive and could be implemented in a pragmatic configuration for discriminating between balance and sway.

PMID:
19908429
DOI:
10.1243/09544119JEIM509
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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