ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2023 - 34

T3 (Tippy Tappy Toes)
ACADEMIC INSTITUTION: NAIT
ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY DISCIPLINE: BIOMEDICAL
TEAM MEMBERS: MCKENNA BENTLEY, MEGAN BAUER,
FRANKIE GAUTHIER
T
T3 is a device that can measure and wirelessly
transmit data to analyze a patient's gait. For
example, patients with spinal cord damage
can present with a gait abnormality called " foot
drop " which happens when the front of the patient's foot
does not lift properly when walking forward, causing it to
drag along the ground.
T3 uses pressure sensors and accelerometers on each foot
that communicate with a central controller via Wi-Fi. T3 is
able to determine touch-down and lift-off of both the heel
and toe of the patient's foot, as well as the foot angle in three
axes while walking. T3 collects the pressure sensor and accelerometer
data and wirelessly sends it to an application,
which will show movement of the patient's foot in real time.
Researchers can use this application in the lab to collect
gait data and analyze the gait of the patient, which may help
improve treatment.
The original idea for the project was provided by Don Wilson
from the SMART Network during a co-op job placement. The
device was simply meant to detect and wirelessly transmit
heel and toe touchdown and liftoff data to a researcher for
training a machine learning model to control an exoskeleton.
An initial misunderstanding of the application of that device
led to the additional functionality of the T3 gait analysis tool.
Providing the additional data of an accelerometer fixed to the
foot could provide insight into a patient's walking pattern.
Since the SMART Network is involved in researching and
analyzing patients' improvements after treatments for spinal
cord damage, creation of a device to assist this process
seemed appropriate. Some of the limitations of current
methods of studying this information were hard wired resistive
sensor circuits or expensive motion capture systems.
Therefore, our group proposed a solution which involves a
wireless transmitter that is strapped to the ankle, two pressure
sensors that slide under the sole of the user's shoe,
and an accelerometer that attaches to the laces of the shoe.
T3 provides a cheap, wireless, comfortable solution to collecting
gait information. Our device does not require a special
environment, expensive motion cameras, or long cables
to provide quality gait information. The solution to these requirements
involves an ESP32 microcontroller strapped to
the user's ankle. This controller samples the pressure sensor
and accelerometer data and sends it over Wi-Fi to the
'base station' controller, another ESP32 controller that connects
to a windows PC over USB and sends the foot controller
data to the computer. This data comes in the form of a
comma separated string of characters which is easily readable
and can be used directly by a researcher for machine
learning or graphing if desired.
Additionally, our solution involves a user interface where the
data can be read and visualized in real time. The user interface
is a Unity3D game application which manipulates a 3D
model of a shoe to mimic the rotation of the user's foot. This
interface provides an interactive method of visualizing the
data and allows for rotating a camera view around the shoe
model, zooming in and out, recording, and recording playback
with the ability to slow down playback of the recorded
walking session. It also provides visual indications that the
toe/heel are touching the ground. Ultimately, T3 provides
users with a cheap, easy to use, and environment-independent
method of analyzing a patient's walking pattern, and
can be used with almost any shoe type.
Overall, the project was successful in delivering the specified
solutions to the initial requirements of the system. Going
forward, our device has potential to be used in making
games for rehabilitation, which was another inspiration for
the project, which came from visiting the Glenrose Rehabilitation
Hospital. Since everything is already in the game
engine it wouldn't take much to create fun minigames that
allow patients to challenge themselves and have fun during
their rehabilitation activities.
34 | FALL 2023 | TECHNOLOGY ALBERTA

ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2023

ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2023 - Cover
ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2023 - A1
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ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2023 - Cover2
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_dec2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/aset55anniversary
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2015
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