Project

Design of electronic interface in physiotherapy device

Project (M.S., Electrical and Electronic Engineering) -- California State University, Sacramento, 2010.

This project focuses on a physiotherapy technique in which a therapist uses the thumbs to apply force to the spinal column of a patient. A therapy session consists of a series of bouts. Because the thumbs tire quickly, the bouts usually are short, about 30 s in duration.
 A hand-held device is proposed for the therapist to use in place of the thumbs, which consists of a mechanical apparatus with a force to voltage transducer and an electronic interface. This project deals with the development of the electronic interface between the mechanical apparatus and the therapist. A microcontroller with a liquid crystal display and a joystick is used. For debugging purposes, an external potentiometer circuit is used to simulate the output from the force sensor.
 The controller interface is coded to follow a bout structure and to allow the therapist to initialize the bout time, monitor the performance of the therapy, and view a summary. The therapist navigates through this interface structure via the onboard joystick. Once a bout session has ended and the therapist views a summary of collected force measurements, the next bout may begin.
 While the interface developed provides much feedback to the therapist using the device, there are still some areas of development that require attention. These areas, which are left to future developers of this project, include exporting data from the microcontroller and providing data viewing with analysis tools.

This project focuses on a physiotherapy technique in which a therapist uses the thumbs to apply force to the spinal column of a patient. A therapy session consists of a series of bouts. Because the thumbs tire quickly, the bouts usually are short, about 30 s in duration. A hand-held device is proposed for the therapist to use in place of the thumbs, which consists of a mechanical apparatus with a force to voltage transducer and an electronic interface. This project deals with the development of the electronic interface between the mechanical apparatus and the therapist. A microcontroller with a liquid crystal display and a joystick is used. For debugging purposes, an external potentiometer circuit is used to simulate the output from the force sensor. The controller interface is coded to follow a bout structure and to allow the therapist to initialize the bout time, monitor the performance of the therapy, and view a summary. The therapist navigates through this interface structure via the onboard joystick. Once a bout session has ended and the therapist views a summary of collected force measurements, the next bout may begin. While the interface developed provides much feedback to the therapist using the device, there are still some areas of development that require attention. These areas, which are left to future developers of this project, include exporting data from the microcontroller and providing data viewing with analysis tools.

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