Racel Williams

KNEE – Digital Knee Brace2013

Summary:

Employing user-centered design principles and e-textile materials, this knee worn sensor array and microcontroller is capable of gesture recognition for both guiding physical therapy exercises in the home by recognizing movement quality and providing haptic and audible feedback. It is also capable of storing data for later presentation of exercise frequency and quality to meet the wants and needs of practicing physical therapists.

Contribution: I am a team member and fabrication lead on this project. I have participated in design and fabrication of the prototype, as well as pilot testing.
Videos:KNEE Concept Video
Process: Through a user-centered design process, our team has decided to develop a wearable knee brace to aid knee injury patients with rehabilitation. We have equipped a knee brace with a microcontroller, 2 accelerometers, a buzzer, and vibration motor in order to process gestures and provide the user with feedback about that gesture. Employing the WEKA open-source machine learning software, our knee brace has successfully recognized the common knee exercise given to knee injury patients by their physical therapist, the leg lift. We have piloted the system amongst our team members and are working towards recognizing functional exercises and refining the design to align more closely with the ubiquitous computing model of "invisible" hardware.