Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Harris, Gerald F.

Second Advisor

Jeutter, Dean C.

Third Advisor

Wertsche, Jacqueline J.


A system has been developed to measure vertical forces between a cane and ground while walking. An audio alarm sounds when applied forces are not within pre-determined limits. The system employs two types of sensors attached to the cane, a force sensing resistor and a strain gage bridge. The sensors provide input to the portable data acquisition system which is designed to perform analog to digital conversion and store the force data using a calibrated look-up table. The alarm is controlled on the basis of look-up table values. Thresholds for the alarm are set as a ratio of subject weight which is input to the system prior to use. High-speed CMOS technology and the Motorola 68HC11 microprocessor were used in the design to limit power consumption.



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