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Engineering for Life Projects 2012

Smart Floor

Lead: Ben Heller

Contributors: Robert Steele

                         Jack Habgood (C3RI)

                         Ian Gwilt

The Smartfloor system was first developed as part of an Engineering for Life Fieldlab Demonstrator. Originally the Smartfloor was developed to deliver a small number of custom applications to develop fitness, mobility and to apply kinaesthetic learning techniques .The potential of the unit became clear during the project’s first phase which has lead to The Smartfloor Project 2011. The project aims to further develop the Smartfloor product from an application specific unit to a unit based on easily expandable software that will allow the exploitation of the systems potential in a range of areas.

Gait Retraining

Lead: Andrew Barnes

Contributors: Alan Holloway

                         John Wheat

                         Ben Heller

Stress injuries to bone represent a significant problem in runners. These injuries are most common in the structures of the lower limbs, in particular, the tibia. The injuries can be severe potentially leading to significant loss of training and individual frustration. Higher peak tibial shock has been found to be a strong risk factor for stress injuries in runners (Milner et al., 2006). Modifying this risk factor may decrease a runner's risk of injury or, post injury, may decrease the likelihood of re-injury.

The project aims to develop a system which can be used to help runners improve their technique by retraining their gait reducing the risk of injury, improving long term recovery from injury and reducing risk to the runner in the future.

Digital Christmas

Lead: Daniella Petrelli

Contributors: Fabio Caperrelli

                         Simon Bowen

The Digital Christmas Project aims to explore the potential of digital technology as a means to pull together many generations through the creation and sharing of affective digital content, i.e. audio, images and video snippets of family celebration at Christmas.

The project addresses two EfL themes: health & wellbeing and sustainability. By connecting many generations of a dispersed family it supports wellbeing, by addressing the issue of digital preservation and inclusive design it creates sustainable digital tools.

Some research in this direction has already been carried out providing excellent results and showing potential for a new set of digital devices designed for the specificity of Christmas: a dispersed family getting together on Christmas day after weeks of preparation and anticipation.


Lead: John Wheat

Contributors: Jacques Penders

                         Maria Burton

                         Reuben Flemming

                         Simon Choppin

In November 2010, Microsoft released the Kinect peripheral for the Xbox360. Since, the ‘hacking’ community and amateur enthusiasts have been inspired to produce many novel applications, highlighting the huge potential of this revolutionary device. The Kinect has also attracted serious attention from the academic community in many subject areas including health, robotics, biomechanics and computer animation. The scale of the interest has mainly been driven by the rich information (previously obtained only through the use of complex and very expensive hardware) that can be gleaned from the three-dimensional depth camera – all from a device costing less than £100. This offers the potential of performing complex analyses at low cost and taking traditionally lab-/animation studio-based analyses into the field, with many possibilities in many disciplines. However, the accuracy and feasibility with which the required data can be obtained is not yet known. The aim of this project is to establish the feasibility and accuracy of the Microsoft Kinect in various contexts including body segment tracking, three-dimensional scanning and object tracking.







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