The management of a person’s activity when engaged in sporting or normal daily activities is becoming
increasingly important. Elite athletes need to monitor the proportion of time they spend running, walking or
standing still during training sessions or actual match play. Amateurs, who are interested in fitness, may also
be interested in their activity levels. Monitoring idleness/walking/running patterns is also important in the
study of some animals.
- The challenge
Your team needs to develop and validate a (computer) tool to measure the time a person spends standing
still, walking or running using motion sensors (accelerometers) found in smartphones.
Specifically, the software tool needs to be:
Reliable and accurate
user-friendly (that is capable of being used by any untrained person)
able to clearly display activity graphically
able to store data for archiving and later retrieval and viewing
- Deliverables and assessment
- Written report (20 marks). A description of your design and the software’s operation are to be
presented in a report (one report for each team) that is laid-out as follows:
- An introduction of the problem
- The methodology (signal analysis techniques) that will be used to detect different motions
- A description of the algorithm (flow chart)
- A detailed description of your analysis software (computer code)
- Results of validation experiments
- Conclusion including suggestions on how to improve the detection algorithm
This report is to be completed and submitted to your designated facilitator before 5:00 pm on Friday of
the week after completion of the project. After it is assessed, you report will be returned to you along
with comments and feedback on your effort.
- Test (10 marks) – Duration: 1 hour. To be undertaken during the second part of the last session for
the project. The test is a closed-book session and is to be attempted by each student individually (no
team work allowed) – examination conditions will apply.
Reading Material (Available from VU Collaborate):
A series of lectures and video demonstrations pertinent to the challenge are available on VU Collaborate.
You will need a smartphone to record vibration. Suitable apps are:
Vibration app by Diffraction Limited Design LLC (IOS)
VibSensor app by Now Instruments and Software, Inc. (Android)
Matlab software and PC – available throughout the University
- Safety & technical support
Although the activity and associated equipment are inherently safe, due caution must be applied especially if
you are planning to use public spaces. Make sure that any space you use to generate vibration data is safe
and appropriate for the purpose.
- Learning outcomes for activity:
- Understand the differences between inertial and gravitational acceleration
- Vibration sensors (accelerometers)
- Sampling and data acquisition
- Basic signal processing concepts such as mean, rms and kurtosis
- Appreciate the skills required to undertake measurements and achieve repeatable and reliable
- Constructing an algorithm and developing software code for engineering applications
- Information gathering, discernment synthesis and reporting
- Working in teams, time management and communication
- In order to assist you with this challenge, a schedule of activities has been produced:
Lecture Briefing on the problem solving challenge and human gait while walking or
Own time Familiarisation wit vibration recording apps
Session 1 Detailed briefing on project. Familiarisation session on the use of equipment,
apps and software to record, transmit and upload vibration files.
Own time Undertake required reading tasks. Start to work on the project and brain-storm
your team’s approach to completing the project.
Session 2 Introduction to Matlab. Recall how to upload, plot and undertake basic
manipulation of vibration data.
Own time Generate validation (test) data
Lecture Lecture on vibration analysis
Own time Undertake required reading tasks. Further study of lecture notes
Session 1 Brainstorm data analysis procedure and develop algorithm and code.
Own time Continue required reading tasks. Validate code on test data and improve.
Session 2 Further familiarisation with Matlab. Continue with developing computer code
Own time Analyse experimental data. Generate information for your report.
Lecture Final lecture on vibration analysis – important information for test.
Own time Finalise software code. Work on report. Practice questions for test.
Session 1 Finalise computer code and report. Get feedback/advice on results, research
Own time Finalise report. Practice questions for test.
Session 2 Advice, revision. Test.
Submit report by 5 pm Friday