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Title: A distributive approach to tactile sensing for application to human movement
Authors: Mikov, Mikov
Advisors: Brett, P
Xinli, D
Mohagheghi, A
Korff, T
Keywords: Tactile sensing;Discrimination;Human motion analysis;Stroke recovery;Postural control
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: This thesis investigates on clinical applicability of a novel sensing technology in the areas of postural steadiness and stroke assessment. The mechanically simple Distributive Tactile Sensing approach is applied to extract motion information from flexible surfaces to identify parameters and disorders of human movement in real time. The thesis reports on the design, implementation and testing of smart platform devices which are developed for discrimination applications through the use of linear and non-linear data interpretation techniques and neural networks for pattern recognition. In the thesis mathematical models of elastic plates, based on finite element and finite difference methods, are developed and described. The models are used to identify constructive parameters of sensing devices by investigating sensitivity and accuracy of Distributive Tactile Sensing surfaces. Two experimental devices have been constructed for the investigation. These are a sensing floor platform for standing applications and a sensing chair for sitting applications. Using a linear approach, the sensing floor platform is developed to detect centre of pressure, an important parameter widely used in the assessment of postural steadiness. It is demonstrated that the locus of centre of pressure can be determined with an average deviation of 1.05mm from that of a commercialised force platform in a balance application test conducted with five healthy volunteers. This amounts to 0.4% of the sensor range. The sensing chair used neural networks for pattern recognition, to identify the level of motor impairment in people with stroke through performing functional reaching task while sitting. The clinical studies with six real stroke survivors have shown the robustness of the sensing technique to deal with a range of possible motion in the reaching task investigated. The work of this thesis demonstrates that the novel Distributive Tactile Sensing approach is suited to clinical and home applications as screening and rehabilitation systems. Mechanical simplicity is a merit of the approach and has potential to lead to versatile low-cost units.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Brunel Institute for Bioengineering (BIB)
Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Theses

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