Force sensing for measuring human body movement

  • A.J. Molloy

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The research developed in this thesis explores the sensing and inference of human movement in a dynamic way, as opposed to conventional measurement systems, that are only concerned with discrete evaluations of stimuli in sequential time. Typically, conventional approaches are used to infer the dynamic movement of the body; such as vision and motion tracking devices, with either a human diagnosis or complex image processing algorithm to classify the movement. This research is therefore the first of its kind to attempt and provide a movement classifying algorithm through the use of minimal sensing points, with the application for this novel system, to classify human movement during a golf swing. There are two main categories of force sensing. Firstly, array-type systems consisting of many sensing elements, and are the most commonly researched and commercially available. Secondly, reduced force sensing element systems (RFSES) also known as distributive systems have only been recently exploited in the academic world. The fundamental difference between these systems is that array systems handle the data captured from each sensor as unique outputs and suffer the effects of resolution. The effect of resolution, is the error in the load position measurement between sensing elements, as the output is quantized in terms of position. This can be compared to a reduced sensor element system that maximises that data received through the coupling of data from a distribution of sensing points to describe the output in discrete time. Also this can be extended to a coupling of transients in the time domain to describe an activity or dynamic movement. It is the RFSES that is to be examined and exploited in the commercial sector due to its advantages over array-based approaches such as reduced design, computational complexity and cost.
Date of AwardApr 2006
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn E.T. Penny (Supervisor)


  • Force sensing
  • measuring
  • human body movement

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